Thursday, September 23, 2010

Looking at Landscapes

For one of today's art activities we used the computers. The National Gallery of Art (in America) has some activities especially for kids. They've taken characters, objects and backgrounds from real paintings and created a site where we can make our own landscapes and portraits using them. We could re-size and move everything around until we were happy with our finished picture. Everyone's painting turned our differently, even though we had the same objects to choose from. It allowed us to be very creative. We used the landscape page today and Mrs N has promised we can try the portrait one next time. It was great fun!

Today's marshmallow challenge saw 3 towers standing at the end of the time limit. We're getting better each day! Meg, Allia and Caitlin's was 25cm, Taj, Matthew and Isaac's was 16cm and Catherine, Kiara and Ella's was 12cm. One more day to go!

Our other art activity today was a tricky one! We had to use our sense of touch more than our sense of sight. Each person was given a paper bag with a mystery object inside. Our job was to put our hand in the bag and feel the item inside (with absolutely no peeking!). We needed to pay particular attention to textures and shapes and sizes. At first, when we put our hand in and realised what the object was, we drew what we thought it would look like, instead of what it actually felt like. For example, even if we could tell the object was a calculator, we needed to use our sense of touch to work out how many buttons it had and what shape they were so we could draw it accurately. Drawing any old calculator wasn't enough. It had to be like the one in the bag! It got easier once we'd had a few tries.

And still, MORE art, but this time it was craft. We used coloured popsticks and toothpicks to make anything we wanted. Mrs N told us about how she used to make treasure boxes from popsticks when she was a little girl. Quite a few of us had a go at doing this too, but some of us had other ideas. Some people even wrote their name with popsticks!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tessellating Talent

As promised, here is the Tessellation art we've been working on for the last two days. It was a lot of work and required us to really pay attention to what we were doing, but it was worth it. We think they look fantastic!
To make your own tessellating shape, follow the steps in these pictures.

Day 3 of our marshmallow challenge went well. Two groups had standing towers at the end of the twenty minutes. Caitlin, Jake and Alex built one 25cm tall and Joel, Lachlan and Taj made one 18cm high. Some other groups managed to make some great towers, but they fell over before the time limit was up, which means we couldn't measure them! What a shame! Tomorrow, we're going to start experimenting with making frames to see if that will help us make higher structures.

Alex, Caitlin and Jake's tower
 Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Catherine, Isaac and Joshua with their winning tower
Meg, Kate & Raquel
It was the second day of our marshmallow challenge and we had some success! Catherine, Isaac and Joshua made a 32 centimetre tower. While they were the only group to have a completed tower at the end of the 20 minutes, a number of other groups were almost there! We're learning that a triangle or tripod shape is nice and strong and will support the weight of the marshmallow. We'll try again tomorrow!

Our art project today was actually all about Maths. We learned about tessellating shapes. These are shapes that fit together perfectly, with no gaps and nothing overlapping. Floor tiles are an example of this. Shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles are usually used for tessellating, but this is too simple for The Smarties! We wanted a challenge, so we designed our own shapes to use!

First, we took a rectangular piece of card and drew a shape on two of its sides. We cut them out and then taped them to the opposite sides. Then, we simply traced around our shape over and over. We could decorate them using two patterns. They're not all finished yet, so we'll post pictures of them tomorrow, but here's a sneak peek at Alex's.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, September 20, 2010

Art Week

It's Art Week all week in our classroom! We LOVE doing art and Mrs N loves teaching it, so we decided to have a special week where we do art every single day! Today's activity was for a competition to celebrate World Teacher's Day. We had to choose a teacher from our school and draw him, or her. We studied each other's faces to learn about the shapes of eyes, noses and mouths and worked out how we could draw them well. Mrs N was so pleased with our efforts. She said we're as good at drawing portraits as the big kids are!

For Daily Writing, we wrote about our favourite art activity and an art activity we'd like to do. It was interesting thinking back to all the artwork we've done in the last few years at school and picking out the ones we liked the best.

My favourite art was painting the fish and drawing all the things on the computer. What I want to do is paint more stuff.
by Jake

My favourite art was abstract art by an artist called Delaunay that came from France. She used lots of circles in her art. I really want to make some paper animals stuffed with paper, any animal we want.
by Raquel

My favourite are was when we made pompoms. I would like to do some other art because it is fun. I want to do abstract art again.
by Ella

In Kindy, we did a painting of ourselves and our family. I want to learn about dinosaurs. I want to make a dinosaur and stuff newspaper in it.
by Joshua

My favourite art was making pompoms. We used different colours. Caitlin had the Dockers' colours and Tia had cool colours. I would really like to do a card that has a butterfly pop up.
by Kelsi

The Challenge Materials
After lunch, Mrs N gave us a challenge. We got ourselves into groups of 2 or 3 and each group was given:

1 marshmallow
20 pieces of raw spaghetti
1 metre of string and
1 metre of sticky tape. 

Our challenge was to build the tallest structure we could, with the marshmallow on top and we only had twenty minutes to do it. We thought it was going to be easy, but boy, were we wrong! Nobody could do it! Raquel, Charlee and Kate's group got close, but when they put the marshmallow on top, it fell over. The good news is that we are going to be doing this activity every day this week. Hopefully, we'll learn a little more each time and by Friday, we'll have towering marshmallow skyscrapers!

Hhmm, is Raquel onto something?
Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, September 17, 2010


We have lots of congratulations to make today! Ella received the merit certificate this week at assembly and Joshua received a special award from Mrs H, his piano teacher, for his fantastic skills. Well done to both of you!
Ella and Joshua
It was also spelling and times tables test day. It was our chance to show Mrs N how well we learned our words and our 10 times tables this week. Lots of us did brilliantly well! Anyone who got 100% in one of the tests, got to choose a prize. Here are this weeks' prize winners!

10 Times Tables
All correct: Alex, Allia, Caitlin, Catherine, Ella, Joshua, Kelsi, Kyle, 
Minnesota, Noah & Raquel
Just 1 wrong: Isaac, Matthew & Meg

All correct: Alex, Catherine, Charlee, Ella, Noah, Raquel & Taj
Just 1 wrong: Allia, Caitlin, kelsi, Kyle, Matthew & Meg

An extra special mention to Alex, Catherine, Ella, Noah and Raquel who each got 100% for both tests!

Mrs N is having troubling posting the rest of our Puppet Pals videos. She'll try again on the weekend.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Creative Kiddies

It was a beautiful day today! Here are some pictures of us enjoying the sun while we ate our lunch on the oval.

Rythme by Sonia Delaunay
Sonia Delaunay was a French artist. We looked at some of her work this week. We liked how she used circles of different sizes, as well as lots of bright colours in her paintings, so we created our own artworks, in her style. To make them, we traced circles of different sizes, drew one straight line and then coloured each area in with textas. We tried to use cool colours on one side and warm on the other. Mrs N laminated them and they're now our deskmats, so we can admire them all day! It was so much fun to do. Some of us even had time to make a second picture, because we loved it lots!

In groups, we told stories using an iPad app called Puppet Pals. In groups, we planned what our story would be about and then wrote a story plan. We could decide whether we wanted to write a script, or whether we wanted to ad lib (which means that we made up the words as we went along) from our plan. We did lots of practice in our groups, then took it in turns to record our stories. Here are some of them. The rest will be in tomorrow's post.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, September 13, 2010

Evaporation and Condensation in Action!

We've been learning all about water this term. Indi brought in a photo that her mum took at home. If you look very carefully, you can see water evaporating and condensing as the shirt is drying (click on the photo to make it bigger). What a great picture! It helps us to see how clouds are formed during the water cycle. Thanks Indi and her mum!

Indi's evaporation and condensation photo from home
Daily Writing today was an exciting topic. Our writing starter was "If I were invisible..." Boy, our imaginations could really run wild with this topic! Joel, Ella and Jake got to use Mrs N's iPad to illustrate their writing.

If I were invisible, I would be rich because I would be famous. I would buy a cherry red Ferrari. Nobody would see me while I was driving.
By Joel

One day, I was in a museum. Somehow, I turned invisible. My mum was looking for me. She kept going past me. I kept yelling, "I'm here!" but she went home looking for me. I couldn't go to school because nobody would see me. The next day I tried to fly, but it was too hard. When I went back to the museum,I turned back to me again.
By Ella

If I were invisible, I'd scare people. I'd get ice-cream for lunch without Mum seeing. I'd be able to fly and I'd be able to get wet in the rain without Mum getting me out of the rain.
By Jake

Mrs N has a really great app on her iPad called Puppet Pals. Taj. Charlee and Kelsi used it to make up a story today. They each picked a character, then a background and told a story. They could move their characters around while they were talking. Everyone is going to get a chance to make one tomorrow. We started our planning today, in small groups, and tomorrow we'll finish the dialogue and then record our digital stories.

Our grammar topic today was apostrophes. There are many different times we need to use apostrophes and today we were learning about using them to show ownership. If the topic of the sentence belongs to someone in the sentence, we need to put an apostrophe at the end of their name, before adding an "s". The exception is when the person's name already ends in "s". When this happens, we put an apostrophe after the "s" in their name, but don't add another one.
Joshua's pencil is red.
Meg's puppy is brown.
James' car is blue.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pizza Party

Today was the day! We arrived at school excited and ready to celebrate our 20 000 blog hits, but we had to get some work done before we could enjoy of pizza and movie.

There was a school assembly this morning. The Grade One class sang some songs and did some dances. It was great! Mrs N is very proud that our class won the Good Manners award this week. The teachers decided that The Smarties were the most polite all week. Fantastic! We earned ten marbles in the jar for that! Ella was this week's recipient of a Merit Award for the initiative she shows in our classroom. If she notices something needs doing, she does it! This really helps Mrs N to keep our class organised.

Charlee and Ella
It's Friday, so we did our spelling and times tables tests. Some of us have been practising very hard during the week to get good marks in our tests. A big congratulations to the following Smarties who got extra special results and were able to choose a prize:

100% in 5 times tables: Alex, Catherine and Indi
Just one wrong!: Ella and Kyle 

100% in spelling: Alex and Noah
Just one wrong!: Caitlin, Ella, Indi, Jack, Minnesota and Raquel

A HUGE well done to Alex, who got 100% for both tests!

    click to generate your own textclick to generate your own textclick to generate your own textclick to generate your own text

Finally, it was time for our party! Mrs N has never seen pizzas disappear so fast. She didn't even have a chance to take any pictures! Trust us though, we enjoyed it a LOT! Our pizza graphing activity the other day worked great. Everybody got the two slices of pizza they wanted! 

Love from Mrs N and The Smarties

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Walter's Surprise Adventure

Indi with the iPad
What an action-packed couple of days we've had!

We played a water cycle game on the Smartboard. It was a good way to help us remember how water moves around and around all the time.

As a shared writing activity, our class wrote a story about Walter. He's a drop of water that has an adventure moving around the water cycle. We needed to think about each stage of the cycle and how Walter might have been feeling at the time. Some of us got to use Mrs N's iPad to illustrate each part of the story. We hope you like it!

Music class with Mrs L was tons of fun today! We made balloon bassoons. You can make them with a cardboard tube, two elastic bands, a balloon and a small piece of hose. They make a lot of noise!

Friday is our pizza party and we can't wait! We needed to decide what sort of pizzas we should order. This was a great Maths activity for us, because we've been learning about fractions. Each pizza has 8 slices and we're getting ¼ of a pizza each, which is 2 slices. Mrs N gave us two slices of paper pizza, which we decorated to look like the type of pizza we want to eat. Our paper slices got glued onto paper bases and we discovered that our class wants 2½ Hawaiian, 1½ pepperoni, 58 of a ham and cheese pizza,
38 cheese pizza and ¼ of a BBQ meatlovers pizza. Of course, we can't order just a few slices, so we decided to order 3 Hawaiian, 2 pepperoni, 1 ham and cheese and 1 BBQ meatlovers. That will keep everyone happy!
Our paper pizzas!
We are certain to enjoy our pizza and it is unlikely any of us will be hungry afterwards! "Certain" and "unlikely" are words that can be used to describe the chance of something happening. We wrote some sentences using the language of chance.

It is likely that I will go riding on my bike. (Allia)
I'm likely to go to the shops. (Matthew)
It is likely that I will ride my bike today. (Jake)

It is probably going to rain today. (Caitlin)
I will probably watch TV tonight. (Jake)
I will probably have Chooks this week. (Joshua)

I might go to the shop today. (Allia)
I might have some ice-cream today. (Jake)
I might go to the post office. (Kiara)

It is unlikely that I will walk home today. (Lachlan)
It is unlikely that I will want to play with my Wii today. (Taj)
It is unlikely that I will lose my good-behaviour counters. (Joel)

I am certain my mum will pick me up today. (Taj)
I am certain that I'm going to bed at 8.30. (Meg)
It is certain that I will get a chocolate. (Joel)

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, September 6, 2010

Twenty Thousand!

We reached an amazing milestone last night! We have had 20 000 hits on our blog since we started it in February. It's very exciting to know that people like to read about us! Our principal said we can have a pizza party on Friday to celebrate. Yippee!!

Our Daily Writing topic today was a tricky one. We had to make up a story about a monkey and a pancake. We really let our imaginations run wild and came up with some fabulous stories! Mrs N let a few people use a drawing app on her iPad to illustrate our writing.

Once upon a time, there was a very hungry monkey. When he looked up, he saw a big pancake. He tried to gobble it, but it was too big, so he didn't gobble it. He got Rhino the Rhinoceros and Elo the Elephant to flatten it. So, they did, but they were very hungry too, so they ate it! The monkey cried, "They are mean. They didn't share." He said, "I will catch you." They ran away so the monkey stayed mean and he ate the bananas and coconuts with nuts.
By Isaac

Once upon a time, there was a magic pancake. It was looking for a friend to play with. He found a lion, but he did not want a friend. He wanted to be king of the world. He found a snake, but the snake did not want to be friends with a pancake! The snake said to the lion, "How silly is that!" At the end, the pancake found a monkey. The monkey did not have a friend, so the monkey said, "I will be your friend." "The monkey has a good heart," said the pancake softly. They played happily.
By Raquel

Once upon a time, there lived a little boy monkey and he went on a picnic. He brought four pancakes. On his way, he fell in love with a pretty girl and he gave her two pancakes. When he gave her two pancakes, she fell in love with him and they lived happily every after.
By Tia

We are continuing to learn all about water. Today, we watched an episode of The Magic Schoolbus which taught us about the water cycle. Miss Frizzle and her students turned into water! In one part, they were water that was evaporating, then they were water droplets creating clouds and then they were rain falling back to Earth. What a shame we don't have a magic schoolbus at our school!

We made a GIANT poster of the water cycle too. We can see how rain flows into rivers and then into the sea. The sun evaporates the water in the ocean, which then forms clouds. The clouds give us rain and the cycle starts all over again!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all of The Smarties' dads! We hope you like the presents and Google search cards we made for you!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Wednesday was the first day of Spring. In Daily Writing, we wrote acrostic poems using the word "Spring", then made them into flower hangers. Don't they look great? They are helping to brighten up our classroom!

On Thursday, we were very happy to welcome some of the parents from the school into our classroom for the morning. We showed them some of the ways we use technology in our learning. They seemed to be very impressed with our skills and knowledge! We showed them things like Tutpup, Google Maps, Primary Pad, Tuxpaint, Wordles and our Writing Blog.
Friday was athletics carnival day. The whole school got on buses and went to the local oval. We sat with our factions and cheered on all our friends while they were racing. We did running races and team games and it was a LOT of fun! A big congratulations to Alex, Taj and Isaac, who were our class boy champions, as well as Ella, Kate and Tia who won medals for the girls. Mrs N was very impressed with the sportsmanship and friendship we showed towards everyone. We all did our best at everything we did!
Alex, Taj, Isaac, Tia, Kate and Ella with their medals

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N