Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Skype Buddies

We've been learning all about Australia and we're learning all sorts of things. We decided that a great way to learn about another part of Australia is to ask the people who live there, so that's what we're going to do! Next week, we're going to be Skyping with our blogging buddies, 2MK. They're a grade 2 class in Victoria, Australia and they're going to be teaching us about their state and we'll be telling them all about ours! It'll be great fun and we can't wait.

We designed some Australian tourist t-shirts. We needed to include the word "Australia" but other than that, we could add anything we wanted. Some of us chose to use the colours green and gold, which are the colours of the uniforms many of the Australian sporting teams wear. Others used red, white and blue from the Australian flag. A couple of us even included the Aboriginal flag into our designs, as well as a lizard or two! We think they look great hanging in our classroom.

For Monday Munchies yesterday, we tried an unusual fruit called a Persimmon. At first, we thought they were tomatoes, but when Mrs N cut one open, we could see that it looks nothing like a tomato inside. It has black seeds and firm, orange flesh. It was crunchy and juicy and pretty delicious. Most of us liked it and came back for a second try!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, May 27, 2011

Aussie Thongs

We've been busy with some Australian art projects and they're finally finished! For the first one, we made thongs, which are classic Australian footwear. Lots of people like to wear them in the Summer at the beach. Unfortunately, ours are only made of paper, so we can't wear them, but they're brightening up our classroom!

Our second art activity was painting the Australian and Aboriginal flags. We think they turned out great!

Jenaya brought in some Aboriginal artefacts for us to look at. She had a shield and a boomerang, as well as a poster of a dance group that her dad is in. They were really interesting to look at!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Aboriginal Flag

The Aboriginal Flag
As part of our Australia theme this term, we've learned about our flags. Last week, we learned about the different parts of the official Australian flag and this week we've learned about the Aboriginal one. It has three colours, which each represent something. The yellow is for the Sun, which provides life. The red is for the earth, which is a reddish colour in many parts of the outback. The black represents the dark-coloured skin of the aboriginal people.

Every Wednesday morning, we have lots of parent helpers in our classroom. This morning, we had Sharni's dad, Elise's mum, Brydie's mum and Tieg's mum. They helped us with a couple of art projects we've been working on.

With the help of Sharni's dad, we each painted an aboriginal flag. We folded a piece of paper exactly in half, then traced a round lid in the middle and painted it all in the correct colours. Tieg's mum helped us paint a blue background for an Australian flag. We coloured in a Union Jack with textas and we'll be gluing it, and some stars, onto the background tomorrow. Brydie and Elise's mum helped us work on our Aussie thong artwork. We traced around our feet, cut them out and then used a split pin to attach the straps to our thongs. Mrs N then taped the ends of the straps to the back and they look like real shoes! You'll be able to see all of our amazing art work on Friday, when Mrs N posts them!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Australian Flag

At assembly this morning, Mr Randall, a member of parliament, visited our school to present us with some new flags. One was the Australian flag and the other was the Aboriginal flag. He spoke to us about what the different parts of the Australian flag mean and later on, we wrote about them in class. You can read some of them on our writing blog. We learned that:

  • we have a Union Jack in the corner of our flag, because we are a colony of Britain,
  • the seven pointed star is called the "Federation Star" and it has 7 points, which represent the states and territories of Australia, and
  • the group of stars on the right is the Southern Cross which is a special constellation that can be seen in the southern hemisphere, which is where Australia is.
Last year, our school participated in the Coles Sports for Schools programme. Our friends and families collected vouchers when they did their shopping at Coles and then we could spend them on sports equipment. We managed to collect 38,000 vouchers and our order arrived this week! We unpacked it all and took some photos. We feel very lucky to have so many new things and we can't wait to play with it!

As a special treat this afternoon, our class visited the Year 7 classroom. In a few weeks, our school is having a fair and the Year 7s will be having a face-painting stalll. They needed some volunteers to practise on, so Mrs N volunteered us. It was lots of fun!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness

May is Cystic Fibrosis (CF) awareness month. One of the Smarties, Paige, has CF and her mum emailed Mrs N a link to a great video about it. We watched it in class today, then asked Paige lots of questions! These are some of the things we learned from her:

  • She has a portacath under her arm, which makes it easier for her to receive her medicine when she's in hospital.
  • She needs to take enzyme tablets whenever she eats, because her body's enzymes don't work properly to digest her food.
  • She needs to eat high kilojoule foods, such as potato chips, chocolate and cake to stay healthy.
  • Children with CF can't play with, or be in the same class as, other children with CF because they can transfer germs to each other and get sick.
  • She coughs a lot and sometimes needs to cough up mucus from her lungs.
  • CF is not contagious, which means that you're born with it and can't catch it from anyone else.
  • Paige loves going to hospital because she gets to lay in bed and she gets to do lots of arts and crafts and play games.
Paige thinks there are some good things about having CF and some not-so-good, but she doesn't know any different, so she's happy! 

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, May 16, 2011

Aussie Animals Galore!

Aussie animals have been the theme in our classroom lately.

Last week, Miss H taught us how to take notes while reading a non-fiction book. We recorded information about koalas while she was reading to us. We then used this information to write reports about them. You can read some of them on our writing blog. In Art, we made cute koala masks from paper plates.

Today, we read Possum Magic by Mem Fox. It's a great story about a baby possum, named Hush, who becomes invisible. Hush and her grandmother travel all around Australia, searching for the cure and they get to eat lots of delicious Australia foods! We each wrote a character analysis and even learned how to draw possums by reading some instructions. We were very clever! We'll be doing more activities about Possum Magic during Literacy block this week.

In Maths, we've been practising subtraction with counters and we've been playing a game in pairs. Each person starts with 20 counters and we take turns to roll a dice. We subtract the number of counters shown on the dice and the winner is the person who subtracts all their counters first. To keep score, we use tally marks to record how many games each of us wins. It's lots of fun!

Another Maths skill we've been learning about is sharing objects among groups. For example, if we were really lucky and we got home from school and our Mum gave us a bag of lollies and asked us to divide them up so everyone in the family had an equal share, we'd need to work out the fairest way to do it.
We discovered three ways of sharing that all work pretty well:
  1. Guess and Try - We could look at the pile of lollies and have a guess about how many each person would probably get, then share them out and see if we need to add or take away from any piles
  2. One by One - We could share them out one by one, a bit like when we deal cards if we're playing a card game.
  3. Count and Divide - We could count the lollies and then divide by the number of groups we need, to work out how many will be in each group.

Our Monday Munchies food today was cucumber. Cucumber is a delicious vegetable that we could have in our sandwiches, in salads, or as a snack on its own. It's crunchy and juicy and delicious! The outside is dark green and a little bit bumpy, while the inside is a lighter green with small, soft seeds. We learned that there are lots of vitamins in the skin of fruit and vegetables and it's good to eat it when we can. Some of us hadn't tried cucumber with the skin, but we all tried it today and most of us liked it. We'll be asking our mums and dads to put some in our lunches!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome to Miss H!

Miss H with The Smarties
Our class is very lucky. We have a student teacher in our classroom this term. Her name is Miss H and she’s really nice! She’s learning how to be a teacher and she’s planning lots of interesting lessons for us. We love having her in our classroom!

This term, we’re learning all about Australia. We brainstormed words about our country. We came up with a lot! We thought of places, animals, people and things we like to do. Mrs N asked us to choose five of those words and put them into sentences. We know a lot about Australia already! Some of the sentences we wrote were:

Echidnas are interesting because they have spikes. (Taj)
Redback spiders are really poisonous spiders. (Declan)
Queensland has the Gold Coast in it. (Paige)
Emus are very fast, but they can’t fly. (Cathy)
Julia Gillard is the first female Prime Minister. (Stephany)
A Platypus is an interesting animal because it has a bill like a duck. (Makayla)
Ned Kelly was a bushranger and he is famous. (Elise)
A platypus can hold its breath underwater. (Aodhan)
The outback is an extremely good place to camp at. (Sharni)
The Tasmanian Devil eats meat. (Brydie)

Yesterday was Monday, which means we got to try another healthy food. This time, it was something brown and furry. It was kiwifruit!

Some of us had eaten them before, but there were quite a few people who hadn’t and we were all eager to have a taste. When Mrs N cut them open, we could see all the tiny black seeds inside. The flesh was a pretty green colour and looked soft. We all had a taste and almost everyone thought they were delicious! Kiwifruit are a really tasty and healthy snack and we’ll be asking our mums and dads to get us some!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

The Smarties celebrated Mother's Day on Friday with a special afternoon tea. We invited our mums and grandmothers to our classroom for biscuits and coffee. We decorated the classroom to look like a cafe with pink, green and yellow tablecloths and tissue paper flowers that we had made. It looked really pretty and we got lots of compliments about how great it looked. It was nice to sit down for some special time with our mums.

Julie and her Grandma
Declan and Mum
Ana and Mum
Danica and Mum
For Mother's Day, we made our mums mosaic mirrors. We each chose colours we thought our mum would like, then glued them onto a mirror frame. We made matching handbag cards and wrapped them ourselves. We hope they loved them when they opened them this morning!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N