Friday, February 24, 2012

What we Like About Year 3/4

In writing today, we wrote about some of the things we like about being in Year 3/4. We then recorded ourselves reading it aloud on VoiceThread. Some of the most popular things about our class are Daily 5, Monday Munchies, brain breaks and Tutpup.Mrs G is very pleased that there are so many things we like about our class! 

Mrs G is going to be away from school for three days next week, so we did our Monday Munchies today instead of on Monday. We tried dried apples. Dried fruit can be healthy in moderation, especially if it's a brand that doesn't have any added sugar or oil. Most of us thought dried apples were really yummy and we'd love some in our lunchboxes, but some of us said we'd prefer to eat a fresh apple.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Monday, February 20, 2012


For Monday Munchies today, we tried a fruit that has two names. It's called Kiwifruit, or Chinese Gooseberry. It originated in China and is now grown in many countries around the world. It's a strange fruit because it has fur on the outside, but inside it's bright green with tiny black seeds. It's pretty delicious and a great source of Vitamin C. Press play on the Fotobabble below to hear Breanna, Maddi, Charli and Angela tell us what they think of Kiwifruit.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Saturday, February 18, 2012


We've started learning about Glogster. It's a site where we can make really cool online posters. Mrs G showed us how to add text and graphics, then we went to the computer room and tried it ourselves. We worked in groups of two or three and spent some time practising adding the various elements. Here are some examples of our very first attempts at Glogster. We'll be using the site during the year for various projects.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Voki

We created a new Voki for our blog today. As a class, we needed to decide which character to choose. We decided to be democratic about it, which means we had a vote! We used our new flashcard whiteboards and each wrote the name of the animal character we preferred. We placed our whiteboards on the floor in columns to make a graph. We could tell which character won without even needing to count them, because we could see that the "beaver" column was longer than the others. You can listen to our new Voki. It's on the right side of the page.

We work so quietly during Daily 5 time! Mrs G took a video of us. This is how we work every single day during Literacy. It makes it so much easier to concentrate on our reading, or our work and it lets Mrs G work with individuals or small groups of students.

In Science, we're learning about living things. We know that there are 7 characteristics that ALL living things have. Sometimes, it's hard to see how the living thing does each of these, but they do them all! The 7 characteristics of living things are:
  • Respiration (or breathing) - Animals breathe with their lungs, but we can't see plants breathe. They do it through their leaves.
  • Feeding - All living things consume energy. Most animals eat with their mouths and plants get their food through their roots.
  • Movement - It's usually easy to see how animals move, but plants move too! They can bend their stems or branches to face the light and some plants even move to catch their food.
  • Excretion - Living things get rid of waste products.
  • Growth - All living things grow and change. Some grow a lot and some grow just a little.
  • Sensitivity - Living things have some sort of senses, like sight, hearing, touch, or sensitivity to light or heat.
  • Reproduction - All livng things produce young. If they didn't there would be no living things!
As it's difficult to notice plants moving, because they do it so slowly, we watched some timelapse videos, including this one.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yummy Broccolini

Even though today was Wednesday, we had Monday Munchies! Mrs G has been away at meetings for a few days, so we couldn't do it on our usual day. Our healthy food this week was Broccolini, which looks a bit like little trees! It's a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli (kai-lan) and it can be eaten cooked or raw (we had it raw). The whole thing can be eaten, including the stems, and it's rich in Vitamins C and A, as well as containing iron, folate and calcium. Lots of us really loved it and asked for seconds, thirds and even fourths! It would make a great snack food for our lunchboxes. 

Mrs G is really proud of all of the Smarties because we ALL try the healthy foods she brings in, even if we don't think we're going to like it. It's ok not to like the taste or texture of something, as long as we TRY it! Mrs G told us about how she didn't like tomatoes in sauce when she was a little girl, but now she loves tomato sauce on pasta, or on pizza and even on chicken. Our tastes can change and just because we didn't like something when we've tried it before, it's possible we'll like it some other time, so it's important to keep trying healthy foods!

A package arrived for us today. It was some new flashcards we ordered for our classroom. They're not just ordinary flashcards though. They're actually mini whiteboards! We tried them out today and we're going to be using them for lots and lots of things to help us with our learning.

Our Daily 5 sessions are going super-well! We are now experts at Read to Self and almost experts at Word Work. We have lots of choices to practice our spelling. We can choose from mini-whiteboards, mini-blackboards, playdough, coloured matchsticks, scrabble tiles, alphabet stamps, stencils, or metallic textas. It's fun to practise our spelling words using these tactile materials. Today, for the first time, we were allowed to choose whether we did Read to Self or Word Work first. It's nice to be able to make choices in our learning. Next week, we'll be learning how to do Listen to Reading!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Hate Books!

Don't worry. We don't really hate books. We LOVE books! I Hate Books is the name of a story Mrs G is reading to us this week. It's written by Kate Walker and is about a boy who can't read, but is fantastic at making up stories. It's a really funny story with some interesting characters. It's one of the books in our classroom library, which is full of great books. We can all find things we want to read, so none of us hate books!

Once again, our Read to Self session was fantastic, which means that we start learning how to use the Word Work materials tomorrow. We can't wait! We'll be doing lots of hands-on and fun activities to help us practise our spelling words each week.

We started a new activity today. It's called the Boggle Challenge. Each week, Mrs G will put some letters on the display board. Our job is to find as many words as we can using letters that touch each other, just like the real Boggle game. We get points based on how many letters are in each word we find. At the end of the week, the person with the highest points becomes our "Champion Boggler". We've worked out that using a dictionary to find words might help us with the longer ones, so we get more points.

Something else new today is our Whiz Kids Club. We have a wiki with 100 questions about all sorts of things. Mrs G wants us to choose a question we'd like to answer, learn the correct answer off by heart, then tell her. Some of the questions are really tricky and will require lots of research to answer. Others are a little easier and won't take us long to learn. We get a point for each question we answer correctly. We'll eventually have a leader board to celebrate the students who are putting in some extra time and effort to learn new things. We don't have to join the Whiz Kids Club, but it's a great way to learn new and interesting things. Mrs G would be VERY pleased if we all tried at least a few questions.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Monday, February 6, 2012

We are Superstars!

free glitter text and family website at

We achieved something HUGE in class today! Our class goal was to get to 20 minutes of completely independent reading during Read to Self. Not only did we achieve our goal today, we SURPASSED it! We read for 32 minutes! Check out the picture of our off the scale result. It was amazing! The whole class was completely silent and focused on reading. Not one person spoke, we all read the whole time and we all stayed in one spot. We are such fantastic independent readers and Mrs G is so proud of us! If we can do as well tomorrow, on Wednesday, we'll be starting our next Daily 5 activity.

Today, we learned about some websites that will help us with our homework. All the links are in the sidebar so we can get to them easily. Tutpup will help us practise our maths facts, the Listen to Reading link has lots of places we can read books online and the Look, Cover, Write, Check link takes us to a site where we can practise our spelling online.

It was Monday today which means Monday Munchies time! We tasted snow pea shoots and many of us thought they tasted pretty good. We learned that they're a great source of vitamins A and D, as well as iron and potassium. They taste really good in salads and on sandwiches.

We had another birthday in our class today. It was Jye's special day! Hope it was great!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Friday, February 3, 2012

Notable Quotables

Each Friday, Mrs G is going to introduce a new quote. We call them "Notable Quotables". Today's quote was:

Reading is to the mind 
what exercise is to the body.

We know that our bodies need exercise to stay strong, healthy and flexible. Our minds need to be exercised too and reading helps with this. When we read stories or look up information in books, we are using our brains which helps keep them active and switched on!

We've been learning some maths games to play with partners. They are helping us practise basic maths facts and they're also fun! Some we play with counters and dice and some we need playing cards for.

Our Daily 5 sessions are going really well! We have our Read to Self stamina up to sixteen minutes, which is great for only our third day. Mrs G is so impressed and pleased with us! We are working very hard at remembering all the things we need to do, such as:

  • Being quiet so everyone can concentrate
  • Getting started straight away
  • Eyes on the book
  • Staying in one spot
  • Reading the whole time
  • Real reading, not fake reading

We are great at staying focused and not letting interruptions from visitors to the classroom distract us. We just keep on reading!

Next week, as part of our health programme, we start Monday Munchies. We get to try a healthy food, like a fruit or a vegetable each week. Today, we created fruit and vegetable faces to decorate the covers of our scrap books.

It was Joel's birthday today and he brought delicious chocolate cupcakes for everyone in the class. Thanks Joel (and Joel's mum!). We hope you had a great day!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The New Smarties

Here are some of the new Smarties! Most of us brought in our permission slips today, so we posed for our very first photo. Now we can start posting pictures of us hard at work and sharing some of the things we do.

In Maths today, we made glyphs about our Summer holidays. A glyph is a picture that gives us information. We answered a questionnaire and then created our picture based on our answers. When we looked at everyone's pictures afterwards, we could find out all sorts of information about their holidays without needing any words to tell us. For example, Remy's picture tells us that she tried a new activity, she had a sleepover and she is excited to be back at school! Jye's picture tells us that he tried a new food, he had a bad surprise in the holidays and he isn't very excited about the holidays being over!

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Choosing Books to Read

What a busy day we had today! It was the first day of the school year and we had lots to do. Mrs G is new to our school, so she had to spend some time getting to know us.

This year in Literacy, we'll be doing the Daily 5. Today, we learned how to choose books that are just right for us, using the COW acronym. We need to check that we understand, or comprehend, what the book is about, we need to make sure the book is the right level for us, and we need to choose books we're interested in. To help us check that the book is the right level, we use the five-finger test. We open the book and start reading. Each time we get to a word we don't know, we put one of our fingers down. If we get to five fingers before the end of the page, then the book is probably a bit tricky for us at the moment. We can always go back later in the year and try again if it's a book we really want to read!

This poster is from here
Mrs G has lots of exciting and fun things planned for us this term and we're looking forward to sharing them on our blog! Hopefully, lots of us will bring back our blogging permission slips tomorrow, so we can start posting photos of our learning.

Love from The Smarties and Mrs G