Thank You & Good Bye

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Classroom | Posted on February 6, 2016

This will be the last post on this blog.

We would like to thank all of our blogging friends from near and far who have followed us during the past two years. Thank you for your comments and interest in our learning. A special thank you to our regular followers who have left us many comments and particularly our friends around the world in Middleham, TasmaniaCalifornia and North Carolina. We have enjoyed working on global projects with you and hope you enjoyed it as much as us!

Mrs Placek is leaving Upper Plenty at the end of Term 1 (March) because she is going to become a mum and Miss Crowther has already left to work at Kilmore Primary School.

 

Please visit Miss Crowther’s new blog.

http://www.kilmoreps.global2.vic.edu.au

 

 

 

Graduation, Games, Gifts & Good Times

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Genius Hour, School Event, Special Event | Posted on December 16, 2015

This week is our last week of school for the term…and the whole year. It is a busy week with something special happening nearly every day.

Tuesday

Our Grade 6 students celebrated completing their primary school education with a special dinner and graduation ceremony.

Earlier in the year, Tayla-Jade made a photo booth in Genius Hour and we put it to good use on the night!

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The Grade 6s have changed quite a bit over the past seven years…

 

 

Every Grade 6 student gave a speech about their primary school years, presented their families with a ‘Memory Book’, received a graduation certificate and yearbook. There were also speeches from past students (thanks Brock, Chelsea and Eve!), Mrs Egan, Mrs Placek, Miss Crowther and our school captains.

We relived the year with a ‘highlights’ reel…
 

 

Wednesday

Today we played our board games with Miss Joy and our friends in 1/2J. We had a great time creating our games earlier in the week with Mrs Egan and today we enjoyed teaching our younger friends how to play them. We think they enjoyed it too!

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Today was also the day we opened our Kris Kringle (KK) presents and had our class party.

 

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We were very grateful for such a lovely collection of KK gifts

 

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The calm before the storm!

 

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What could possibly be in such a large box?

 

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Gumballs, that’s what!

 

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We were able to put Edward’s Genius Hour creation to good use! The lolly dispenser was very popular!

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We still have lots to look forward to as well!

Thursday

Christmas Concert & Awards night followed by a Carols Skype with Mrs Monaghan and A Room with a View.

Friday

Last day of term. Hello Christmas holidays!

 

What have you enjoyed most about the last week of school?

 

What are you looking forward to in the next few days?

Games Galore!

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Collaboration, Sport | Posted on December 8, 2015

One of the best things about having a class blog is participating in projects with other schools. For one of our last projects of the year we are sharing procedures about how to play games with our friends, Mrs Monaghan and A Room with A View in England and Mrs Yollis in America.

Beanbag Toss

 

 

Origami Rabbit (technically not a game, but still fun to do!)

 

 

Duck, Duck, Goose

 

 

Australian Rules Football

 
Australian Rules Football is a very popular game in Australia. It is quite a different version of football to the one our friends in A Room with a View play.

There are many, many rules to this game. We have included the main ones in our procedure. If you want to learn more about the rules, click HERE.

 

What is your favourite game to play? Why?

 

Can you teach us a game?

 

Safe and Smart in Cyberspace

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in ICT | Posted on December 4, 2015

We are an eSmart school. This means that we act in a safe and respectful way – on and offline. Everyone in our school learns about digital citizenship and how to be smart, safe and responsible users of technology.

Our regular blog readers may remember that a lady named Susan came to visit us earlier in the year. She is an expert on all things cybersafe. We were lucky enough to have Susan present to all Grade 3, 4, 5 & 6 students, all parents and teachers due to receiving a grant.

This term some students made a cybersafe jingle! We used notes from Susan’s presentation to write and record what we hope is a catchy jingle that will help everyone in our school (and everyone who reads our blog) remember some key things to do when you use technology. The song has been played over our PA system at school at the end of recess breaks.

 

 

Students all around the world learn about the best ways to be safe and responsible. Mrs Monaghan’s class in England wrote a terrific post about their digital footprints. Check it out HERE!

 

What are your top tips for staying safe online?

 

Do you follow certain rules?

 

How are you respectful and responsible?

‘Genius Hour’ Day

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Classroom, Genius Hour, Special Event | Posted on December 1, 2015

Yesterday we put a spin on the traditional ‘Genius Hour’ model we have previously used. Instead of spending one hour a week over ten weeks working on a project, we spent one whole day.

You can read about our previous Genius Hour projects HERE, HERE and HERE.

We decided to change the time frame for our last Genius Hour of the year. Some of us have completed three projects and we have all completed one round following the traditional one hour a week time frame. Changing to one whole day meant we had to think and plan differently. It presented new challenges and new opportunities.

Our plans were submitted ten days before ‘Genius Hour Day’ for approval. We had to think carefully about what we could achieve in five hours. It was tricky making sure our project wouldn’t be finished in one hour and didn’t need more than five hours. We used our experiences from previous projects to guide our thinking. We knew the day was nearly here when equipment and tools started appearing in our classroom last Friday.

You can view our Genius Hour journey in the video below.

Genius Hour has taught us a lot about thinking ahead, organisation, problem solving and a number of skills specific to our individual projects such as working with wood, art and craft, embroidery and using technology. We have also discovered that it is very important to have a Plan B and to think creatively to solve problems. It is amazing what can be achieved with a little bit of imagination, creativity, persistence and lateral thinking.

 

Plan A

 

Do you prefer a whole day to work on a project or ten separate hours? Why?

 

What has Genius Hour taught you?

 

If you could do any Genius Hour project, what would it be?

Should Swimming Lessons be Compulsory in all Schools?

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy, School Event | Posted on November 11, 2015

This is the first week of our three week swimming program.  During the program we will participate in nine, forty five minute lessons.

Earlier in the week we watched two clips from Behind the News, or BTN to its regular viewers.

 

 

and

 

When we watched the BTN clips we paid particular attention to the modal verbs used. Modal verbs tell us how likely something is to happen. For example, ‘could’, ‘should’, ‘would’ and ‘might’ are all model verbs. Modal verbs influence the reader and authors choose particular verbs deliberately. We will be experimenting with our choice of modal verbs in our own persuasive texts this week.

Both clips include reasons for and against making swimming lessons compulsory in schools. We organised the reasons in a table. This will form part of our plan for our own text.

 

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There is no right or wrong answer to our question of ‘Should swimming lessons be compulsory in all schools?’ People have different opinions and reasons. We would love to know what you think…

Should swimming lessons be compulsory in all schools?

Why? Why not?

Today we are grateful for…

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Classroom | Posted on November 6, 2015

Regular blog followers might remember our earlier posts about ways we can be happier and more resilient. This helps us to enjoy things more and it also helps us to learn more things! Earlier in the year we learnt about ways to improve our mood, strategies to bounce back and be happy along with ways to grow our minds.

Last year, Mrs Placek and Miss Crowther listened to a presentation about resilience given by a man named Hugh from The Resilience Project. Here is one of the slide’s from his presentation:

 

A slide from Hugh's 'Developing Resilience' presentation

A slide from Hugh’s ‘Developing Resilience’ presentation

 

In 5/6 Team we all have ‘journals of joy’. We toyed with the idea of calling them ‘joynals’, but settled on Gratitude Journals.

 

We apologise for the background noise in some parts of the video. It was lunch time (when we interviewed) and some people were very grateful for the oval right outside our classroom!

We write in our journals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There are three sentence starters that we complete:

Today I am grateful for…

Today I am grateful to…

I am looking forward to…

 

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After keeping our journals for a while, the words in Hugh’s slide started to come true. We notice the small things that we might have missed before. We notice the good and great things that happen each day and appreciate the people in our lives more. When you stop and reflect, there are so many things to be grateful for each day.

 

Quote from DailykarmaQuotes.com

Quote from DailykarmaQuotes.com

 

We would love to know…

What are you grateful for?

 

Who are you grateful to?

 

What are you looking forward to?

We’ve Got Kittens!

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Special Event | Posted on November 4, 2015

We’ve always wanted a class pet and the closest we have come is having a ‘school’ cat. Now we not only have a cat but four kittens as well!

Earlier in the year, Sybil arrived. It took a little while to earn her trust and she wasn’t that keen on kids. Only people who arrived at school early when it was quiet met her before she raced off and hid under our classroom for the day. Our global pal Snappy had a happy ‘snap’ with her whilst she ate breakfast.

 

Snappy and Sybil

Snappy and Sybil

 

Sybil went off to the vets to be scanned for a microchip. Unfortunately she did not have one so it was off to the pound for eight days. No owner could be found and Sybil was adopted by Miss Crowther.

 

Sybil

Sybil

 

Just when we thought we were cat free, another cat was spotted in the yard. It looked a lot like Sybil and to begin with, people thought that it was the same cat! Mrs Lewis nicknamed the new cat Stevie – short for Stephanie or Stephan. Today we discovered that Stevie is definitely short for Stephanie!

On Monday Stevie and her large tummy arrived for breakfast. We suspected she was full of kittens.

 

Stevie pre kittens

Stevie pre kittens

 

Today she appeared looking much thinner and extremely hungry. She also only wanted to eat in one spot. Surprisingly she was extra friendly and didn’t run away when everyone arrived at school.

The mystery of where the kittens were hiding was solved at recess. Stevie’s kittens were waiting patiently for their mum under a blackberry bush. It wasn’t a very safe place – they would get wet and cold when the evening’s predicted storm arrived and they would make a delicious snack for Fantastic Mr Fox.

A plan was hatched to first catch Stevie (as she was going to be the hardest) and then move her kittens to be with her. It was a team effort and we probably won’t ever have another recess like it! Games were abandoned as we embarked on our mission.

Stevie and her kittens were soon scooped up (more easily than we imagined) and spent the rest of the day in Mrs Lewis’ quiet office getting to know each other. We all wanted to visit, but had to leave her in peace and make do with photos.

 

Stevie and her kittens

Stevie and her kittens

 

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It’s too early to know if the kittens are boys or girls. Stevie and her kittens will be heading off to the vets for a check up and then a foster home until the kittens are big enough to be rehomed. Stevie will also be looking for a home.  The RSPCA have some tips for adopting cats.

 

Stevie

Did you know…

*Over the past 10 years the RSPCA have adopted out or reunited with their owners 222,916 cats/kittens.

* 1 in 4 Australian households are home to cats. (Source: Animal Australia)

* One homeless cat can have up to 41 kittens a year. (Click Here for the source)

* The average pet cat will live for 12 to 15 years.

* On average, cats spend two thirds of their day sleeping. That means, if a cat is nine years old, it has only been awake for three years!

* A group of cats is called a ‘clowder’.

* There is an expression ‘Having kittens’. It means that you are freaking out or panicking about something.

 

Do you have a cat? What is it like?

 

What interesting facts can you share about cats?

 

If you were Stevie, what would you say about the day’s events?

 

Have you ever ‘Had kittens’ over something?

 

High School Day

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Special Event | Posted on October 28, 2015

There are less than 35 school days left before our Grade 5s become Grade 6s and our Grade 6s become Year 7s.

As part of our Transition Program, we have two High School Days. These days are designed to mirror a traditional day at high school. We invite teachers from our local high schools, follow a timetable, move around the school to different classes and complete Year 7 work.

This is the timetable we followed:

 

We had to take our folder, pencil case, diary and healthy snack with us to each class as we couldn’t go to our locker tubs or bags between lessons.

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Mr Langdon taught science. We found out that you copy notes from the board in some lessons. These notes help you learn and can also be used as study notes before unit tests or exams. Mr Langdon also shared his number one tip for high school; Be Organised!

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Mr Devine taught maths. We played an addition game to warm our brains up and then worked with fractions.

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Mrs Gurney taught English. At high school reading and writing is not separated into two subjects like it is at primary school. In our English lesson we copied the goals from the board. We learnt about using similes to describe ‘flanimals’.

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Mrs Egan taught geography. We used an atlas to have a virtual race around the world. Knowing how to use resources is going to be very important at high school.

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Sir Prize (friends with Miss Tery) taught humanities. We learned about rainforests using information from a text book. We read the information together and then answered questions. Our answers had to be in full sentences and clearly numbered.

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We would like to thank Mr Langdon, Mr Devine, Mrs Gurney and Mrs Egan for being our high school teachers. We were able to ask questions about high school and learn how high school lessons usually run. High School Day has helped us understand more about what it is like to be in Year 7.

What did you learn about High School from High School Day?

 

What is your number 1 tip for doing well in Year 7?

 

A Night to Remember!

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Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in School Event | Posted on October 24, 2015

The car park was full on Friday after school and cars lined the street. Word had spread… Upper Plenty Primary School was holding a family fun night. There was something for everyone, including:

* A market

* An art show

* A book launch

* The opening of our new outdoor classroom

* A jumping castle

* A ‘Happy Birthday’ sing-a-long for Ezmond, our school dragon who turned one

The market had a variety of stalls and activities. There were stalls run by professional market people and each class had a stall too.

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5/6 Team was in charge of the cake stall.

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There was even a special cake in Ezmond’s honour!

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We would like to thank everyone who made cakes and slices for us. We received many compliments about your cooking and sold out!

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The central learning space was transformed into an art exhibition.

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The night also celebrated Ezmond’s first birthday. The whole school sang Ezmond ‘Happy Birthday’ before ‘The Adventures of Ezmond’ was officially launched. The Adventures of Ezmond is a picture storybook. Each student in the school wrote a narrative about Ezmond during our narrative writing focus and created an illustration in art to go with the text. We now have a picture storybook with over 170 stories and everyone is a published author!

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Ezmond

 

Many people were able to visit our newly finished outdoor classroom and garden.

Garden

Garden 2

Garden 3

 

Just when we thought the night couldn’t get any better, there was even a jumping castle!

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We would like to thank Mrs Lewis and her team of helpers who spent many months and hundreds of hours working on the outdoor garden, The Adventures of Ezmond and setting up the art exhibition. We would also like to thank Upper Plenty’s Family and Friends group who organised the market and invited each class to have a stall.

What did you enjoy most about the family fete and market night?

 

How should Ezmond celebrate his next birthday?

 

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