Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nativity Art

With just a few weeks of school left for the year, we've started thinking about Christmas! Our art activity today was to make a Nativity scene. We drew a star with oil pastel, then painted the sky and the ground. We tried to make the ground one third of the page and the sky two thirds. We also painted strips of paper to make the stable and Mrs N gave us pictures of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to colour and cut out. Later, we got to draw extra things, like angels, donkeys, cows and sheep to add to our creations. Don't they look cute! We're really looking forward to doing more Christmas arts and crafts in the next few weeks.

Next week, we start swimming lessons. Living in Australia means that many of us spend a lot of time in swimming pools, or at the beach in the Sumner, so it's especially important that we all know how to swim. We are going to walk to the swimming pool and have one lesson after lunch each day for two weeks. It's lots of fun and we can't wait!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Monday, November 14, 2011

Measuring Dinosaurs!

It's Week 5 of term already and time is flying by! Mrs N was away for three days last week. She hopped on a plane and flew to Brisbane, which is on the other side of Australia, in Queensland. She went to a conference there and met lots of others teachers from all over Australia. She told them about our blog and about how our school teaches writing. Lots of people came up to her afterwards to say they love our blog and that they might start their own. How exciting!

Today, we finished our Australian dinosaur fact book. We used information on the Natural History Museum's website to find out some facts about dinosaurs that used to live in Australia. In Maths, we checked the fact books we made to see how long each of the dinosaurs was, then in groups, we cut strips of paper to represent the length of each one so we could compare them. Some of them were HUGE and would barely have fitted into our undercover area!

This week, we're learning about contractions. The word "contract" has a few different meanings, but in this case, it means to make something smaller. A contraction is a word that's made up of two words, with some letters missed out. An apostrophe is used to represent the missing letters. Some examples of contractions are:
can't = can not
I'll = I will
she's = she is
I'm = I am

We love listening to stories and we've found a new website where stories are read to us! It's called Tumble Books and there are lots and lots of stories to listen to. Our favourites so far are Wait and See by Robert Munsch, which is about a girl whose birthday wishes always come true, and Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, which is about a green pea whose parents make him eat lollies for dinner every single day! They're really funny stories and we've listened to them both quite a few times already.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Friday, November 4, 2011

Off to the Museum!

Wednesday was such an exciting day! We arrived at school with our lunches, hats and water bottles all packed and ready to go to the museum. There were so many exciting things to do there, we didn't want to leave at the end of the day! Brad, one of the people who works there, taught us some things about dinosaurs and then showed us how to do some activities. We were junior palaeontologists for the day and spent some time digging for fossils and investigating dinosaurs. It was a lot of fun and we learned lots!

We wrote about our trip to the museum and all the interesting things we did. Here is Samantha, Jay and Jenaya's writing.

We went to the museum. On the bus, I sat near Declan and when we got to Perth, we looked out of the window and looked at the city. We finally got to the museum. When we got off the bus, we had recess and the Pre-Primaries came with us too. After recess, we had photos then we had a lesson. We did dinosaur footprints, a bone puzzle and there were four more activities. Those two were my favourite ones. We had lunch. After lunch, we went in groups and my group went up the bridge. Then, we went on the bus back to school.
By Samantha

We went on a bus to the museum. It was getting very hot on the bus. I saw a lot of things. After the long trip, we finally got to Perth. We were waiting for a guy to come. Then, that guy led us to an activity. We did six activities. We did a puzzle, footprints of dinosaurs and a fossil finding game. Then we had to match fossils. We went into groups and looked around, then we went home.
By Jay

Yesterday, we went to the museum. We got on the bus. I was sitting next to Tatiana and Sam. It was so hot! When we got off the bus, we had recess. I had an apple and chips. It was yummy. Then, we took a photo on the stairs to put on the blog. Then, we had a lesson with a man named Brad. He talked about dinosaurs. We did activities like sifting sand, dinosaur footprints, fossil searching in rock, bone puzzles (it was hard!), a grid fossil search and a mystery fossil bag. Then, we had lunch. I had a sandwich and cake. Then, we grouped up with our friends. First, we went down the elevator and we looked at dinosaur bones and other things. Then, we went on the bus. I sat next to Makayla and Tatiana. It took an hour, then we got to schoo.
By Jenaya

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dinosaur Discoveries

Our finished dinosaur fossils
We're so excited about our excursion to the museum tomorrow. We could barely contain ourselves today!

We learned about some of the different types of dinosaurs today and we learned some new words.
Carnivores - animals that eat meat
Herbivores - animals that eat plants
Omnivores - animals that eat both meat and plants

We learned that most dinosaurs were herbivores, some were carnivores and just a few were omnivores. Of course, many herbivores accidentally ate insects and other small animals when they chomped the leaves from the trees!

Palaeontologists are scientists that study prehistoric life. They can work out what dinosaurs ate in a few different ways. One way is to look at tooth fossils. If the teeth are pointed and long, they were probably carnivores. If they were spoon or peg shaped, they were probably herbivores who used their teeth to strip leaves from branches. Herbivore dinosaurs didn't usually chew their food. They'd swallow the leaves whole, then digest them in their stomach, sometimes with the help of stones they had swallowed to help grind the food up inside them!

When we've been learning about non-fiction books, Mrs N told us that most non-fiction books contain photographs of the subject, while fiction books usually have drawings or paintings. Today, we noticed that non-fiction books about dinosaurs don't contain any photos of real dinosaurs and we wondered why. It's because there were no cameras (or people) when the dinosaurs were alive, which means that nobody really knows that they looked like. Palaeontologists can make guesses based on their bones and other little clues left behind but we don't really know about the colours or textures of their skin. So, we discovered that non-fiction books about dinosaurs are one of the subjects that won't contain real photographs.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs N