Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Counting in Noongar

Our school is located in the south-west of Australia, where the aboriginal people are called Noongar. It is also the name of their language. We've started learning some Noongar words, with the help of our Aboriginal Teacher Assistant, Mrs P. So far, we've learned how to count to ten!

 Noongar Numbers by thesmarties

one - keyen
two - koodjal
three - dambart
four - koodjal koodjal
five - maar
six - maar-keyen
seven - maar-koodjal
eight - maar-dambart
nine - maar-koodjal koodjal
ten - maar-maar

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A New Smartie!

We have a brand new Smartie! His name is Cole and he started at our school this week. He already knew Taj from playing football, but he's making lots of friends with the other children in our class and is enjoying being at our school.

This week in spelling groups, we're revising the sounds we've been learning over the last four weeks. Today, we played games to give us some extra practice in a fun way! We were learning about short and long vowel sounds, words that have ch, sh or wh at the beginning, words with oar, ore, or and wor, and words ending with cher, ture, ure and cher. Here are some pictures of us practising our spelling.

Our school choir entered a competition today. Tatiana, Jenaya, Anastacia, Makayla, Paige and Cathy all hopped on a bus after recess and travelled to the competition. They're getting back after school finishes, so we're not sure how they went, but we bet they were great! Some of them were a bit nervous before they left, but maybe they were just really, really excited.

The Smarties members of the school choir
We did a fun little art activity today. We made elephants pictures. Mrs N gave us a line drawing of an elephant on a piece of paper. We needed to look through magazines and find pictures that we liked in nice bright colours. We glued them onto the back of the elephant, making sure we covered it all. To check whether we'd left any white spaces, we held our pictures up to the window and the sunlight made it really easy to see through. Once we'd covered the elephant, we cut it out, then added the ear, tusk and tail using the typed part of the magazines. We think they look really great hanging in a long row in our classroom, almost like they're walking in a line!

Creating our elephants
Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Week Dress Ups!

What an exciting day we had at school today! It's Book Week and everyone got to dress up as their favourite book character. There are so many amazing characters in books, it was difficult to choose our favourites! It was lots and lots of fun, especially during assembly when we went up the front and told the whole school who we were dressed as. Thanks to our mums and dads for helping us with our costumes.

Our rain sticks are finished! They took a long time to get done, because we had to leave them to dry between each layer of paper mache and paint. We decorated them with feathers, beads, coloured string and metallic pens and we're really happy with them.

We are becoming experts on the water cycle. We understand that water is constantly moving around the cycle and it doesn't really have a beginning or an end point. We created water cycle collages to show how well we understand it. There were lots of big words for us to learn, but Mrs N says we did an excellent job remembering them all!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cystic Fibrosis Wacky Hair Day

Last Friday, our school had a Wacky Hair Day to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Paige, one of the Smarties, has CF so our class organised it in her honour. She wrote about what it's like to have it and read it out in front of the whole school at assembly. Here's what she wrote:

CF is short for Cystic Fibrosis, but little kids called it "sixty five roses". Part of my daily treatment is taking tablets every time I eat. I also spend up to one hour a day doing physio and have lots of time in hospital where I have to have lots of needles and pricks, but not all of it is bad.

I get to eat junk food like chips, chocolate and cheese all the time. I also get to meet nice people at hospital. I got to go to the Gold Coast when I was six, organised  by Make-a-Wish. They understand how hard it is having to do so much treatment and it was good to go to the theme parks. I still had to do all my physio and take tablets, but it was still fun.

I will always have to take tablets and do nebs and physio to stay healthy because there isn't a cure for CF. Danica wants to grow up and be a medical scientist and find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. I think she'll be able to do it.

We showed the whole school a video that explains what CF is and how it effects the people who have it. We've seen the video before but thought it would be good for everyone to see it so they could understand why we were raising money.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Rainbow Serpent

Miss J has been teaching us about the Rainbow Serpent. It is a Dreamtime story, explaining how Aboriginal people believe the mountains, river and animals were created. She gave us each a part to illustrate and we have put them together to make a complete story.

Last week, we wrote expositions about whether cats or dogs make better pets. We were trying to persuade Mrs N to get one. After brainstorming lots of reasons why dogs are better than cats, or cats are better than dogs, we chose our best three reasons and wrote about them. Today, we used paper plates to make cute cats and dogs for our display.

Each week, we get ten spelling words to learn and then Mrs N tests us on Fridays to check how well we learned them. We know about this great site where we can practise our words using the "look, cover, write, check" method. We can add our spelling list words and do as much practice as we need! We also do activities in class in our spelling groups to give us some extra help.

Miss J has been teaching us about number stories this week. A number story is a way to ask a Maths problem. We need to use the information in the story to work out the answer. Sometimes, it's tricky to decide whether it's an addition or subtraction problem, but there are certain words we can look for to give us clues. Here are some examples:

Samantha has 2 dogs and 3 cats. 
How many pets does she have altogether? 
2 + 3 = 5
Samantha has five pets.

Tieg had 4 pencils, but he lost 1
How many pencils does he have left?
4 - 1 = 3
Tieg has three pencils left.

Here's a really fun website that's a lot like Mrs N's favourite video game - Frogger! A question appears at the bottom and we need to move the frog to the answer without letting it get hit by a car, or fall in the water. We love finding fun ways to practise our Maths skills.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rain Sticks

We've been making rain sticks in art, which are musical instruments from Peru. They're hollow tubes, usually filled with pebbles. When they're turned vertically, the pebbles run down the tube, making a sound like rain. Traditionally, they're made from a dried cactus with the spikes pushed in. As the pebbles hit the spikes, they make the sound.

We didn't have any cacti at our school, so Miss J gave us each a cardboard tube instead. We glued paper over one end to seal it, then scrunched and rolled some aluminium foil and put it inside the tube. Carefully, we tipped in some rice, beads and dried pasta, then sealed the other end up. We practised turning our rain stick over and it really did sound like rain! 

Using paper mache, we covered the tube with a few layers and left it to dry. Today, we added some layers of paint as a base coat and we're going to be decorating them with patterns, beads, wool and feathers. They're going to look fantastic!

We're learning all about water this term. We watched a movie about the water cycle and learned that water is constantly moving through a cycle and has been doing it for millions of years. The water that we drink from the tap could be the very same water that dinosaurs and cavemen drank!

There are four main stages in the water cycle:
  • Evaporation - water droplets are heated and then turn into water vapour which floats up towards the sky
  • Condensation - the water vapour turns into clouds and the wind blows them around the sky
  • Precipitation - the clouds release the water as rain, snow or hail and it falls back to the earth
  • Collection - the water pools together and runs to low places, such as rivers, oceans and lakes
The water cycle then starts all over again when the water evaporates into the air.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Catching Up

Mrs N has been having trouble logging into Blogger, so we haven't had a post for a while. She's finally managed to log on, so here's what we've been up to in the last week!

In Maths, we've been learning about the language of position. This refers to words used to describe where things are. On, under, beside, left, right and over are all examples of this. We played barrier games with a partner to help us practise. We each had the same picture in front of us, but we hid it from our partner. We needed to add things to the picture, then describe where we added them to our partner. They drew them in the same place, according to our directions. At the end, we compared the pictures to see how well we described the positions and how well we listened to the directions.

We've also been playing some new Maths games, including MAB Bingo. This helps us practise our place value skills and is lots of fun too!

We received some new art supplies last week. They're watercolour pencils. They look like ordinary coloured pencils, but they're special. We traced around some leaf shapes, then coloured them in with our new pencils. Afterwards, we carefully painted over them with a paintbrush dipped in water and, like magic, the colour turned into water colour paints! They look really effective and colourful. Mrs N especially likes the way we used two colours on some of our leaves, because they blended together when we painted them and look extra nice.

Danica brought her new baby sister in for news this week. Her name is Eirinn and she's just a few weeks old. Danica likes to help her mum look after her, except when she needs to put the used nappies in the bin!
Danica with beautiful baby Eirinn
In Literacy, we've been revising how to make plurals, writing persuasive texts trying to convince Mrs N whether she should get a cat or a dog, learning all about compound words and reading, reading, reading! We especially love using the whisper phones Mrs N made from pvc tubing and some plumbing supplies. When we whisper into them, we can hear ourselves loudly, so we don't disturb the other children reading next to us.

We've had quite a few Smarties away sick this week and we miss them! Hopefully, they'll be feeling better soon and will be back at school having lots of fun and learning lots!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N