Monday, May 31, 2010

Maths Fun

We were lucky to have Alex's mum helping us in class this morning. In Maths, we learned all about wholes, halves and quarters. We learned how to write them as numbers, or fractions. We cut squares and circles into halves and quarters and glued them into our books. We use halves and quarters when we help our parents cook, because sometimes, recipes ask for half a cup of something. We also need to know about halves and quarters when we want to share things equally between 2 or 4 people, or when we're telling time.
Jack's divided squares
Meg's divided circles

This afternoon, we learned about Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. These are stories about how the world and people were created. They are stories about the spirits coming out of the sky and the ground to create the land, rivers, mountains, animals and people. These stories were not written down, so they are passed on through families as stories they tell their children and grandchildren. Sometimes, Dreamtime stories also serve as a guide about the right way to behave.

We watched one called Whirlpool which is from the Northern Territory and tells the story of two groups of people. One group is chasing another in canoes. One of the main themes in the story was the importance of remaining quiet and cautious when you're in a dangerous place. There were no words at all in this story! We used the music and clues from body language and how things were drawn to work out what the story was about. It was very exciting. Our favourite part was when the snake rose up out of the water and showed its teeth!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Making Friends

We had an incursion at school this morning. Corina, a performance artist, visited us and put on a puppet show about making friends. We loved it! She was very funny and used all sorts of wacky voices. We learned the ABCs of making friends.

A - Ask if you can play or join in
B - Be polite and kind
C - Co-operate and compromise
s - Smile, say hello and share

Corina and her Three Little Pig puppets

In Daily Writing, we wrote about what we learned about making friends and then we videoed some of us reading them.

 We also managed to finish off our symmetrical art We think they look amazing!.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sorry Day

The Aboriginal Flag

May 26th is Sorry Day in Australia. It's the day we especially remember the time when Aboriginal children were taken from their parents and placed in orphanages so that they could learn to live more like the people who lived in cities and towns. Australia now understands that this was the wrong thing to do, so on Sorry Day we remember and say "sorry" to the Aboriginal people.

We started the day with a whole school paraliturgy and we had a guest speaker, Mrs W, who was one of the people taken from her family when she was a little girl. She lead us in prayer and we saw a photo of her meeting the Prime Minister.

We found this video on You Tube. It's one of the songs we sang at the paraliturgy. The flower painted on the hands is the Australian Native Hibiscus, which is the official Sorry Day flower. It was chosen because it is found all over Australia and sometimes lives in very harsh conditions. Its colour also represents compassion and healing.

Today, we also did lots more practice for our assembly. Only two more sleeps to go! We're getting very good at the parts we need to read and our dance is going well too.

Practising our dance moves!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This afternoon, we learned about symmetry. We learned that symmetrical objects are objects that, when you draw a line down the middle of them (either across, down or at an angle), both sides of the line will be identical. It also means that if you could fold the object along this line, each side would fit perfectly onto the other.

Making symmetrical patterns on our desks
We combined Maths and Art and created some symmetrical patterns on grid paper. We needed to think carefully about how we coloured in each box and make sure we found the right box on the other side to make it symmetrical. Some of us found it very tricky, but we all managed to work it out in the end.

Here are some pictures of us busy creating our symmetrical masterpieces.

Our random Daily Writing topic today was writing instructions for making toast. What an appropriate thing to be writing about first thing in the morning!

1. I get the bread from the cupboard.
2. I plug the power cord in.
3. I put the toast in the toaster.
4. I grab the toast out of the toaster and spread the butter, then spread the jam.
By Raquel

1. Get the bread out of the freezer.
2. Get the toaster out and plug in the power cord.
3. Put the bread in the toaster.
4. Get the bread out of the toaster.
5. Get the honey and the butter out then spread on the toast.
6. Eat it.
By Ella

1. Get bread out of the pantry.
2. Put it in the toaster.
3. Check it.
4. Take it out.
5. Put the butter on.
6. Put the creamed honey on.
By Matthew

1. Get the bread out of the cupboard.
2. Put the bread in the toaster.
3. Put the button on the bread.
4. Put the jam on the toast.
By Allia

1. Get out the bread and the toaster.
2. Sneak into Mum's room with the saucepans and clash them loudly and yell "Wake up" ten times.
3. Ask your mum to get up and make your toast and this is how she does it.
4. Put the bread in the toaster and pull down the lever.
5. Wait for the lever to pop up.
6. Get the toast. It will be hot. Do not use a knife or fork to get it.
7. Butter it and put on your favourite spread.
By Indi

1. Get the bread.
2. Get the toaster.
3. Put the power cord in the power point.
4. Put the bread in the toaster.
5. When the toaster pops, take the toast out.
By Catherine

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Tasty Day

We taste-tested some fruits and vegetables today. Some of them, we already eat at home, or have tried before. Some of them, we had never heard of! All of The Smarties tried every single sample that Mrs N gave us, even if we were nervous to try them. We're glad we did, because we discovered some new healthy foods that we liked. Pomegranates, broccolini and snow peas were some of our favourites, but most people liked almost everything!

We illustrated each food on our sheet. Our drawings were very detailed! We then rated each fruit, according to how much we liked it. We sent a little checklist to our mums and dads, to let them know which foods we'd like them to get for us at home. We now have some interesting new fruits and vegetables that we could put in our lunchboxes.

We've also been learning a dance for our assembly next week. We've chosen the Alvin and the Chipmunks song, Shake Your Groove Thing, because we LOVE it. It's one of the songs we use for "brain breaks" when we've been working hard in class. Some of our dance moves are coming from this video.

It was another busy, but fun day in our classroom!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, May 17, 2010

Eyes on our Fingers!?

Isaac's big brother, Nathan, was in our classroom today, doing some work experience. He helped us with our work and it was fun!

Our Thinking Hats activity had us thinking about fingers and eyes. We had a discussion about what it would be like to have an eye ON our finger! We decided that there would be some amazing new and useful things we could do, but it would have its problems too!

This afternoon, we learned about the abbreviations we use for the states and territories of Australia. Abbreviations are a shorter way of writing (or saying) a word. We use these abbreviations in certain situations, such as when we're addressing an envelope, or when we're filling out a small map and there isn't room to write the complete names.

WA  - Western Australia
SA - South Australia
NT - Northern Territory
NSW - New South Wales
ACT - Australian Capital Territory
Qld - Queensland
Vic. - Victoria
Tas. - Tasmania

We discovered that the states and territories that have one word names are abbreviated by using some of the letters (usually the first few) of the word. The names with two or more words are abbreviated by using the first letter of each of the words. These ones are written in all capitals.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our First Video!

Yay! Our new video camera has arrived! We're so excited. We were absolutely brimming with ideas about how we will be able to use it in our classroom and couldn't wait to try it out. Here are some of the things we'd like to do with it.

We decided to start with some reviews of our current home reading books. We did all the camera operating ourselves! We think we did really well for our first try. We're still working on perfecting the sound, so you might need to turn the volume up high!

We came up with a list of things to remember when using the video camera, to keep it safe and to make our videos look good!
  • Make sure you're wearing the wrist strap whenever you're holding it.
  • Be quiet in the background when people are recording.
  • Keep the object or person you're recording in the middle of the screen.
  • Wait your turn and be patient.
  • Be gentle and sensible.
  • Keep watching the screen to make sure you're still pointing in the right direction.
  • Hold the camera with two hands to help keep it steady.
  • Make sure your fingers aren't over the lens.
  • Don't laugh while recording or the camera will wobble!
Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Our New Learning Tool

    We finally have the new piece of equipment we've been waiting for! Can you solve the puzzle to see what it is?

    Love from Mrs N

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Fantastic Flowers

    It's lucky none of The Smarties have hayfever, because our classroom was transformed into a paper plate flower nursery this afternoon! The school fair is coming up in a few weeks and we decided to make some decorations for the Plant Stall, which is the one our parents are organising. We were busy cutting and gluing and making beautiful blooms all afternoon. Our stall is sure to be the most eye-catching!
    Charlee, Meg and Caitlin with our sign for the Plant Stall

    Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

    Monday, May 10, 2010


    "Hello" in Hebrew

    This morning, we noticed that Mrs N had a yellow package on her desk. We guessed that it was our long-awaited letters from our friends in Israel and we were right! We opened it and were very excited to see mini flags of Israel and one big flag too! There were also letters from each of them! It was great reading them and learning a little about our friends. We learned that they like to play sports, like we do. We're going to make a display in our room with the things they sent us.
    Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Mail from Israel
    Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
    We looked up where Israel is on Google Maps. We learn about Italy in Italian class and we noticed that if we had a boat and we were in Italy, we could sail to Israel as they're both on the Mediterranean Sea (we'd have very sore arms though!).

    View Larger Map

    We were also curious about Israel's national anthem, so we watched a youtube video so that we could listen to it. We didn't understand any of the words, but we liked the tune.

    Our mums loved the presents we made them for Mother's Day. We made them lavender hand cream and some vouchers for us to give them hand massages. We practised them in class last week and we were pretty good at them. Our mums agreed!

    In Daily Writing, we wrote about what we did for Mother's Day.

    On Sunday night, my sister Shanae and me and Mikayla did my mum's hair and gave her a hand massage.
    By Kiara

    My mum loved the present and she already had some. She was so happy and we had dinner.
    By Caitlin

    My mum liked her hand massage and it was good. My mum had some pancakes in bed and she loved it all.
    By Kelsi

    On Mother's Day, I gave her a hand massage and for dinner we had toast, scones and pizza and it was fun. We went for a horse ride and we had Scott's and Dad's birthday together and I love it.
    By Kate

    On Mother's Day, I went to the deli for breakfast and I had toast, bacon and baked beans. We gave my mum her presents when my dad was asleep.
    By Alex

    We were camping on Mother's Day. I gave Mum her presents then we had pancakes with honey, marshmallows, honey, jam, butter and golden syrup on top. Then, we packed up the camper trailer and went home. At home, I gave Mum a free hand massage in front of the television. We ate dinner snuggled with Mum then went to bed.
    By Indi

    After lunch, we went to the Year 7 classroom and while we were there, we showed them our blog and some of our wikis. They were very impressed and asked their teacher if they could make a class blog too!

    In Oral Language we did a listening activity. Mrs N gave us each a picture and then read out some instructions. We needed to listen very carefully and do exactly what she said. It was things like colouring the monkey's hat green, or drawing a ball on the ground. We did really well!

    Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    We Love our Mums

    Just 3 more sleeps until we can spoil our mums on their special day! We hope they love our presents. Today, we made a Voice Thread about why we love our mums.

    Our holiday digi-art pictures are finally all finished! We did a great job of fitting the photo into a background. It was tricky to plan it so that things were in proportion.
    Raquel posing for her photo
    Raquel after cutting herself out and adding a background

    Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Holiday Art
    Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox

    Mrs N made us some "reading phones" out of plumbing pipe. When we speak into one end, it makes our voice sound very loud at the other end. We can use them to listen to ourselves reading. They're a great help when we're proofreading our writing. We can read it aloud to ourselves, but very quietly, so we don't disturb those around us.
    Isaac and Ella using our new "reading phones"
    We used the laptops all day today. We typed our holiday sentences using Microsoft Word, we played Tutpup, we read the blogs of our blogging buddies and we had a chance to play some of games we like, like Jigzone and Wild Yourself. We're getting really good at logging into the school network and typing in URLs.

    We are learning, through experience, that when we type in URLs we need to remember a few things:
    • there are no spaces
    • we use lower case letters unless the address we're copying has a capital in it
    • we need to be careful that we're using a colon (:) instead of a semi-colon (;) when we type http://
    • just one letter, number or symbol can make all the difference, so our typing needs to be accurate
    • if we have visited the site before, the address may be saved in history, so we can click that, if it appears in the drop-down menu, to save some time
    We hope our mums have a fantastic day on Sunday!

    Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

    Tuesday, May 4, 2010

    Top Secret Business

    If you're one of The Smarties' mums, could you please stop reading this post! It contains some clues about your Mothers' Day presents.

    We were very busy this morning, putting the finishing touches to our gifts. We even had to practise part of our present! It was a lot of fun, but we can't say too much, in case some of our mums didn't stop reading! We're excited about giving them our presents. Hopefully, they'll help them have a relaxing and enjoyable Mothers' Day on Sunday.

    This afternoon, our class held a Paraliturgy. We invited our parents and anyone else in our family who wanted to come. We had mums, dads, grandmothers, aunties and even big sisters in our room! Thankyou to Kiara, Isaac, Jack and Ella who all had a part to read and did a fantastic job.

    Afterwards, we had some time to read books with our visitors.
    Jake showing his mum what he's learning about Australia
    Taj, Jack's mum and Jack

    On Thursday, we're using the laptops all day! Yippee! Mrs N has a big list of things she wants us to get done, including using Microsoft Word to type up our stories from the holidays so we can print them out and attach them to our digi-art pictures. We are also going to be having a good look at the results of our Monster Exchange project. After many technical difficulties, all the pictures are finally on our wiki. We had a look at a few of them already and are very proud of how well they have turned out. On Thursday, we'll be able to leave some voice messages for our partner school in Detroit, Michigan. We're also going to do some work on our new Aussie Slang Dictionary.

    Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

    Monday, May 3, 2010

    Canberra - the Capital City of Australia

    We got an email from our friends in Israel. They are learning about capital cities around the world and asked us some questions about the capital of Australia. As we're learning about Australia this term, this worked out perfectly and we've learned some things too! Here are their questions and our answers.

    1. What is your capital city?
    The capital of Australia is Canberra (many people think it's Sydney, but it isn't!). The name is from an Aboriginal word, Kanbarra, meaning "meeting place".

    2. When was the declaration of the city as a capital?
    After Australian became a nation in 1901, we needed to choose a capital city. Melbourne and Sydney (the two largest cities) both wanted to be chosen, but it was decided instead to build a special city especially made to be the Australian capital. A section of land, part way between Sydney and Melbourne, was set aside and it was named the "Australian Capital Territory" and this is where Canberra was built. The site was chosen in 1908 and building begin in 1913.

    3. What are the government institutions in the city?
    Canberra is where all of the Members of the Australian Parliament meet to make decisions about our country.The building they meet in is called Parliament House. Here is a picture of it.
    There is also the Australian War Memorial, the Australian Institute of Sport, the National Gallery, the National Museum and many other places of national interest.

    4. Is there an embassy in the city?
    There are many embassies in Canberra, including an Israeli one! This is what the entrance looks like.
    5. What is the symbol of the city?
    The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has a few symbols. The flag has the Southern Cross (which is a constellation seen mainly from the Southern Hemisphere) and the Canberra Coat of Arms on it. It looks like this:
    The Coat of Arms for Canberra includes 2 swans (one black and one white, representing the Aboriginal and European people). King George V granted the Coat of Arms in 1928.
    The ACT also has the Royal Bluebell as its floral symbol.

    We hope this answered all of your questions, Hanita and class. Let us know if you'd like to know anything else!

    Love from The Smarties and Mrs N