Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We're Backpack Designers

Hello Everyone!

Yes-it's "Old" Mrs M!! (thanks Isaac for helping me to remember that...)
As promised, I told the class I would try to post more comments. So here goes...from the Smarties...

Today was business as usual. Plenty of work to be done in our Mental Maths and Signpost Maths books. We were measuring things in our classroom, eg the length of our desk, the height of our chair, etc. We used different informal measuring tools to help us, such as our pencils and our erasers. Then it was on to Handwriting. Mrs M says our handwriting is improving all the time. We did the letter 'Ww' today. After Recess we went to Music with Mrs L, and Italian with Senora L.

At lunchtime a special parcel arrived for us. Mrs M had ordered calico backpacks for us to decorate during our Technology and Enterprise lessons in the afternoon. We watched a video featuring Chris, a designer from the Colorado Sports Company, designing a backpack. He taught us about 'ideation' - the forming of ideas. He showed us how to draw the different parts of a backpack. Then we had a go in our books. It was fun. The theme for our backpacks is 'Australia'. We drew our own designs and labelled all the different parts. On Friday we are going to draw the patterns/designs onto our calico backpacks. We can't wait. It will be so much fun. (Mrs M is going to take some photos of us working on our backpacks and put them onto the Blog.)

Tomorrow is our special party day because we filled the jar with the marbles. Mrs N will be in to share the day with us. We'll have lots more news tomorrow so until then...

From the Smarties and Mrs M

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Call the C.O.P.S.!

We need to call the cops to check our writing for mistakes! We don't mean policemen. We mean that we need to refer to our new poster. C.O.P.S. stands for all the things we need to remember so that our writing is easy to read and easy to understand. Our poster will help us remember (Mrs N hopes!).

C - Capitalise: Did we remember to put capital letters where we need them?
O - Overall appearance: Is our writing neat and tidy and have we left spaces between our words?
P - Punctuation: Have we put a fullstop, question mark or exclamation mark at the end of each sentence?
S - Spelling: Have we used our have-a-go pads and classroom resources to check our spelling?
Allia with our C.O.P.S. poster
On Thursday, we're having a fun day for filling up our marble jar. We had a class vote today and made a decision about what we'll be doing. Mrs Mt, our principal, is letting us have free dress and we'll be watching Alvin and the Chipmunks in the afternoon.We're getting popcorn and lemonade too! We're also allowed to bring in toys and games from home, so we can play them with our friends. It will be fun sharing our favourite toys with our friends and showing them how we play with them. The girls (and any boys who want to as well) are also going to have a pamper session! We're allowed to bring in nail polish to paint our toenails and Mrs N is going to bring in things for us to give each other mini-facials. It's going to be so much fun. We can't wait!

When we come back to school next term, we're going to have a brand new Smartie! His name is Lachlan and we can't wait to meet him! Today, for Daily Writing, we wrote him letters to tell him a little bit about us and our school. Mrs N is going to post them this afternoon. We hope he likes them! We also told him about our blog, so maybe he'll visit it and see this post. Hello Lachlan, if you're reading this!

The Smarties with our letters to Lachlan
Only 3 more days of school until the holidays. Yippee!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today, we celebrated the beginning of NAIDOC Week at our school. The real week is observed July 4th - 11th, but we'll be on holidays so we are doing it this week instead!

NAIDOC is a time when we make a special effort to learn about Aboriginal culture. We had some guest speakers who led us in activities and we learned a lot and had TONS of fun too!

We began the day with a smoking ceremony. Our visitors made a fire in the undercover area and added fresh gum leaves and Balga (grass tree), which made it very smoky. Smoking ceremonies are a traditional way to cleanse an area and the people in it. Mrs T, the leader of our guests, gave us a traditional Nyoongar welcome in the Nyoongar language, to tell us we're welcome on their land as friends. Here is what it sounded like:

After that, we broke up into class groups and did some activities. We learned about:

  • Bush tucker - Before white people came to Australia, aboriginal people could only eat food that was here naturally, like berries, nuts, kangaroos, snakes and lizards.
  • Bush medicine - There were no doctors or hospitals, so aborigines used plants for treating cuts and stomach aches and all sorts of other things.
  • Aboriginal art - Instead of writing down stories about their history, aborigines would paint pictures on walls or rocks to teach their children about their culture. 
  • Aboriginal dance - Dancing was another way to tell stories. The dancers would often be painted with paints made from ground up rocks and the music they danced to was made by didgeridoos and clapping sticks.
We also ate damper, with kangaroo kebabs which almost all of us loved! We had our face painted too.

Click to play this Smilebox photo album: NAIDOC Week

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, June 25, 2010


We want to have a bit of a brag! Today at assembly, our class did amazingly well. We got lots of awards and we're very proud of ourselves!

  • Kate was awarded "Worker of the Month" for her constant hard work during June. 
  • Joel received a merit certificate for his persistence while making pom-poms last week.
  • Taj graduated from the Reading Recovery programme.
  • Meg was elected as our student councillor for second semester.
  • The whole class won the "Good Manners Award" for being the class with the best manners this week.
To top it all off, we filled up our jar of marbles, which means that next week, we get to vote on a fun activity we'd like to do on Thursday. We already have lots of ideas and are really looking forward to it!

We would also like to say a very big thankyou to Noah, who was our student councilor for the first half of the year. He was a fantastic leader and represented our class very well.

Noah, Taj, Meg and Kate with all our awards!

 Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Proud of...

Hello Smarties!

Today, I've been learning about all sorts of things to do with using computers and technology in our classroom to help with your learning. I hope you were especially good for the relief teacher!

I've made a Wallwisher wall for you to post something you're proud of. Any post-its added will count as a comment for our blogging challenge, so get your families to write something they're proud of you for too! Make sure they include your name so I know who to give the point to.

To make a post, click on "Post a sticky", then double-click anywhere on the blue wall, type in your first name, type your message and click "ok". I need to check each message before it's posted, so they won't appear until I've done that.

The Smarties have many things to be proud of, so pick something and tell us about it!

Love from Mrs N

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Kelsi and Allia with the pompoms they made at home.
Our pom-poms are done and they're fantastic! We're such fast learners and are so good at helping each other. Some of The Smarties loved making them so much that they made their own at home on the weekend. Allia made one almost as big as a soccer ball! Some of us were making pom-poms at lunch time and have taught our brothers and sisters how to make them at home. They're such a fun thing to do!

Kate's mum was helping in our classroom this morning. She got to pick the topic for Daily Writing out of the "Writing Ideas" box. It was another easy one! Mrs N is going to have to think of some more difficult topics for us to write about, because we're getting so clever. The topic was "I'm happy when..." We videoed each other reading out our sentences. We're pretty good at using the camera, but we have trouble staying quiet when other people are recording!

In Maths today, we did some addition practice and looked at different ways to make numbers. We made a giant poster of all the ways to make 10. Alex noticed something very important. When we say 4+6 it's the same as saying 6+4, because they both equal 10. It's the same for any other addition sum too. It doesn't matter which order we say it in, it'll always equal the same.

This afternoon, some of us played the card game Uno with Mrs L. We're making a group of class Uno experts who can then teach the other Smarties how to play. We also spent some time playing interactive games on the Smartboard at CBeebies. That was fun!

Don't forget our blogging challenge! We've had over 2000 hits and more than 150 comments since our challenge began a week ago. Mrs N won't be at school until next Monday (she's going to be learning more about using computers in our classroom), so we won't be having any regular blog posts until then (unless The Smarties can convince Mrs M to have a go!). Maybe it would be a good chance to look over some of our old blog entries from earlier in the year and comment on those.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, June 17, 2010


We were very happy when we walked into class this morning and saw the laptop trolleys, because that meant we were using computers for most of the day! We began with doing Daily Writing on our Writing Blog. We could write about anything we wanted. After that, we revised how to leave comments and then left a comment on one of our friend's posts. It was our first time writing our own comments and we did fabulously!

After recess, we played Tutpup. We're getting really good at it, with many of us going up to higher levels. It's a great way for us to practise our mental maths facts.

Last week for news, Meg brought in a pom-pom she had made at home. We thought it was so cool, we wanted to make some of our own! Today, we watched a video about how to make them. We also asked Meg questions about how she made hers. Then, we set to work! We had all brought in wool from home and it was great to see all the different textures and colours. There were lots of tangled strings, but we got the hang of it very quickly and everybody had fun! Most of us aren't quite finished yet, so we'll finish them on Monday and then post pictures here. Here's the video we watched and the pom-pom Meg made today.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Party Time!

Thanks to the mums, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents who have helped get our Blogging Challenge off to a great start. We have had a LOT of comments in the last couple of days and it was very exciting to read them all this morning in class!

To celebrate our amazing 10,000 hits, we had a class party at recess today. We had chips, popcorn, Smarties, jelly babies, jellybeans, Clinkers and some lemonade too. It was lots of fun. We even had party hats which we were allowed to wear all day!
A very happy group of Smarties!

Mrs N's teenage daughters were helping in our classroom today and they were a big, big help! Hannah made us some playdough and we made Australian animals with it. We especially liked using coloured matchsticks to look like echidna spines! Alice helped us make habitat pictures. We needed to choose an Australian animal, think about where it lives and then tear coloured paper to make a collage. We were allowed to use scissors to cut out the animal we made, but all of the background needed to be torn paper. We loved it!

Here's an Animoto movie of our fun day!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Congratulations Smarties!

This evening, we achieved TEN THOUSAND hits on our blog since the beginning of February, this year. WOW! I'll have to think of something to do in class to celebrate tomorrow...perhaps a Blog Party?

Love from Mrs N

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nouns all Around!

Today, we learned about nouns. We learned that they are names of people, places and things. We had fun looking through magazines to find pictures of them. Our classroom is FULL of nouns. Everything we see has a name, so it's a noun! We watched a cool video about it!
Indi with her noun poster

We had cross-country training again today. Here we are, after our run. We're getting pretty fit now. Soon, we'll have to add a few extra laps!

Blogging Challenge!
Our class is having a blogging challenge. We want to encourage our friends and family to tell us what they think about the things we do at school by leaving us comments. Mrs Yollis has done it with her class in America and it seemed to work very well!

Competition Rules:
  1. Students earn one point for each comment, but may only earn a maximum of two per day. These comments must be from different people.
  2. Identify which student you "belong" to when leaving a comment, so that Mrs N knows who to give the point to.
  3. Only comments of 10 words of more will be counted (Mrs N also reserves the right to not count the comments that don't really say anything, so you can't type "hello" ten times over!).
  4. If more than 3 students achieve the maximum points possible (34) then a draw will be held and three names will be "pulled out of a hat."
  5. The competition started this morning, at 8am and will finish at 11pm, June 30th.
And of course, there are prizes! The three students who received the most points by the end of the competition will each receive the following:
  • JibJab dance movie with the winners' faces in it.
  • A $10 Civic Video voucher so you can hire some games or movies in the holidays.
  • Lemonade and popcorn.
  • Chocolates, including Smarties!
If you've forgotten how to leave comments, check out the video we made today. Alex explains exactly what you need to do!
Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Want to know how to take a Bath?

Playing and learning can be messy business sometimes, which is why we are experts in knowing how to take baths. In Daily Writing,we decided to write instructions for taking a bath, so if you're feeling a little grubby, please read on for our expert advice!

1. Run the bath.
2. Get undressed.
3. Get in the bath.
4. Wash yourself.
5. Get out of the bath.
6. Get in your pyjamas
By Kiara

1. Run the bath.
2. Get undressed.
3. Get in the bath.
4. Get washed.
5. Get out of the bath.
6. Get your towel on.
7. Go to your room
8. Get your pyjamas on.
9. If you are cold, you can put on your dressing-gown.
By Catherine

1. Get undressed.
2. Start the tap.
3. Hop in the tub.
4. Get the soap and wash and scrub.
5. Play in the bath until dinner time.
6. Whinge to Mum and say you don't want to get out.
7. Get out.
8. Get your pyjamas on.
By Jack

1. First, take off your clothes.
2. Turn on the tap.
3. Put the bubbles in.
4. Get the soap and wash yourself.
5. Turn the tap off.
6. Put your clothes on.
By Jake

1. Turn on the tap.
2. Get undressed.
3. Get in the bath.
4. Get the soap and put it all over.
5. Get out of the bath.
6. Get your towel.
7. Get dry.
8. Get your pyjamas on.
By Caitlin

Not only are we fantastic bathers, we also have some other talents. Two of The Smarties are learning how to play guitar. They played for us today. Kate has been learning for two years and she played a song called Thunderstruck. Isaac has only been learning since the start of the year, but he is already really good (although, a little bit nervous)!

This afternoon, we had some construction and game time, as a reward for our hard work this week. We played some games on the Smartboard, created a beautiful garden with Interstars and constructed machinery with Struts. We worked very well together and shared and co-operated.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mobs, Gaggles and Shivers

This morning, we checked our blog and watched our Marapana video. We loved watching  the kangaroos and guinea pigs and remembering all the fun things we did on our excursion. It's great to have a video of the things we saw, so that we can keep thinking about, and learning from it.

In grammar, we learned about collective nouns. These are special words we use to describe groups of things. We would say a mob of kangaroos, a chorus of angels, or a gaggle of geese. Some of them have very funny names! We made posters to put up in our classroom.

In Daily Writing we had a very difficult topic! Just kidding. It was easy! We got free choice writing today. Some of us wrote about the things we did on the long weekend. Some of us wrote about last week's visit to the wildlife park. Here is some of our writing.

When I grow up, I would like to be a wildlife warrior, like Steve Irwin, because when he died I wanted to take over so I can be one too and see Bindy Irwin.
By Raquel

On Tuesday, I got a fish called Nemo Num Nums. He's cool! I feed him one fish flake and I play with a puppy called Tazzy. She's a girl.
By Noah

Yesterday, I went to Aqua Jetty and there was a big water slide and I went third. Alex went first and Alex was first to go in the cold pool. I was first to get in the hot pool. I went to the showers.
By Matthew

Yesterday, I went to Aqua Jetty and it was lots of fun. I was the first one to go on the water slide and there was a circle pool. When you go the right way, you will go fast.
By Alex

Yesterday, I went to Aqua Jetty. It was fun. We went on the slide. It was long and fun. If you lean back and turn on the corner, you go faster around the corner.
By Jack

One day, a fish was swimming in the water. A big shark came along and tried to eat it, but the fish was too fast. He went in a tiny hole and the hole was so tiny that the shark couldn't see him.
By Isaac

On Saturday, I went to Nannup and we took the dogs down in the truck. We went to some of my dad's friends' houses and we made a bonfire. We had sparklers and they had a dog called Rusty.
By Kate

In Music, Mrs L showed us the movie Peter and the Wolf. We've been learning about it in class and about how each character is represented by a particular musical instrument. In Italian, we practised our colours some more. Mrs N is very surprised that we're so good at it!

Later in the term, our school has a cross-country carnival. Everyone in the school needs to run around the school grounds on a set course. We've started practising for it after recess every day, because we need to be very fit to be able to run the whole distance!

We wonder if we'll see any flocks of sheep, or crowds of people on the way home.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Marapana Wildlife Park

We could hardly contain our excitement when we got to school this morning! It was excursion day! We visited Marapana Wildlife Park and had a fantastic time! We saw SO many different types of animals and got to touch most of them. We each got a little bucket of food that we could feed to almost any animal.
Some of the animals we saw!
Here's a Glog with some of the pictures we took. You can click and hold each photo to make it bigger. Be sure to click on the audio and video links too!

A very big THANKYOU to the mums of Joel, Jack, Minnesota, Kiara, Jake, Matthew and Kate, who came along to help look after us. They were a huge help to Mrs N!

We saw a joey drinking from its mother's pouch, so when we got back to school, we researched kangaroos and their pouches. We watched this video, which shows how baby kangaroos are born. It's so interesting (and just a little bit gross, which is why we wanted to watch it over and over)!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A or An?

What an action-packed day we've had!

We started the day off with a lesson on when to use the word "a" and when to use "an". We learned that we use "an" when the word after it starts with a vowel (a, e, i, o or u). Words like apple, astronaut, egg, igloo and octopus all use the word "an". Words that begin with consonants, need the word "a" before them. These are words like cupcake, pencil, house and drink. However, we discovered that there are some exceptions. We wear a uniform to school and some of us drew a unicorn. Even though these words start with a vowel, we need to use "a" before them, because the u doesn't make a vowel sound in those words. Learning about grammar can be confusing, but we were pretty good at deciding which word to use by the end of the day.
Words that need "an"
Words that need "a'"
 In Italian, we did a test about colours. We think we did pretty well. Here are some of the colours we know.
red - rosso
blue - blu
yellow - giallo
pink - rosa
black - nero
white - bianco
purple - viola
green - verde

In Music class, we learned about Peter and the Wolf, which is a Russian musical story. Each character in the story is represented by a particular musical instrument. We needed to match the instruments to each character.

After lunch, we started planting our class vegetable garden. We planted capsicum, eggplant, snow pea, lettuce, rhubarb, cabbage and tomato seedlings. We also got some carrot, lettuce, tomato and spinach seeds to germinate in our room. It was lots of fun getting our hands dirty! First, we needed to spread the soil out so it was even, then we had the Year Sevens help up get the seedlings out of their containers. We made little holes in the soil and very carefully put the plants in them, gently patting down the soil around the roots. Next, we gave them a nice big drink of water to help them grow. We need to check every few days to make sure the snails aren't trying to eat them!
Also, Jack wrote a story at home and published it using Microsoft Word. He brought it in to show us. Fantastic work Jack! Maybe some of the other Smarties could make their own books at home too.
Jack with the story book he made at home
What a fun day! Tomorrow is going to be even better. We're going on an excursion, so we need big sleeps tonight!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N