Should Swimming Lessons be Compulsory in all Schools?


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.





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.


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?

The Term That Was…


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Classroom, Collaboration, Inquiry, Learning, Literacy, Numeracy, School Event, Special Event, Sport, Twitter | Posted on September 30, 2015

We are currently on school holidays after finishing Term Three on 18th September. We packed a fair bit into our ten week term. In addition to learning about procedures (more here), reports, finding the main idea and supporting details of a text, comparing texts, skimming, scanning, summarising, fractions, decimals, location, data and natural disasters we also had some special events, including:

A First Aid course



– A Hoop Time Basketball tournament






– Working with Miss Newton and Mr Sinclair (our pre service teachers)

– An Athletics Day (sorry, no photos – we forgot to take the camera!)

– Winning a T-Ball grand final

– Cooking



– eSmart Week and a cyber safety workshop with Susan McLean



– Developed growth mindsets and completed a ‘Seven Day Growth Mindset Challenge’.

– Dressed up as a favourite character from a favourite book to celebrate Book Week.












– Continued our #globalpal Twitter project with Mrs Monaghan in England, Mrs Yollis in America and Ms Shannon in Darwin.



– Went to Allambee Camp


– Some of us also went to Tasmania to visit Mrs Smith and our friends in 5/6CS. We also learnt about Australia’s convict history. Click HERE to read Mrs Smith’s blog post about our visit.


– Said ‘Goodbye’ to Mrs Laffan (our principal) with a special Mrs Laffan dress up day, flash mob dance and assembly.



No wonder we were all very tired at the end of term – we were busy little bees!

Our last term for the school year begins on Monday 5th October.  It is sure to be another busy and exciting term. Check out the ‘Curriculum’ tab in the ‘Parents’ section at the top of the screen to see what we will be learning about. There will also be ‘Where’s William?’ Day on Friday 10th October, a Genius Hour Day, Grade 6 Graduation, Christmas Carols and Awards Night, a Christmas Skype with Mrs Monaghan and some High School Days. We will also be welcoming Mrs Egan, our new principal for Term Four.


What did you enjoy most in Term Three? Why?


What are you looking forward to doing in Term Four? Why?

Stinky Summaries!


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy | Posted on September 2, 2015

Over the past two weeks we have been focusing on identifying the main idea in different texts. Click HERE to complete one of our reading activities from last week.

The main idea is the most important thing the author wants you to know. The text will also include supporting details. Can you work out which of the statements below is the main idea and which are the supporting details?

-The meat was undercooked

-The potatoes were burnt

-The meal was awful

-The food was cold

If you said ‘The meal was awful’ is the main idea you are correct! The other three statements support (‘back up’ / ‘prove’) that the meal wasn’t very nice.

If you can work out the main idea and the supporting details, you can summarise a text.

This term our class novel is David Walliams’ Mr Stink. Click HERE to find out more about David.




Earlier this week we wrote $2 summaries after reading a chapter. Each word ‘cost’ ten cents, meaning we could only use a maximum of 20 words. Here’s one a small group wrote:

Chloe and Annabelle gave Mr Stink a makeover because he was going to meet the Prime Minister.

Today we wrote a text response to summarise the chapter called ‘Long Lion Days’. We were allowed to use more than 20 words and had to include the main idea and supporting details. Here’s one a small group wrote.

Chloe discovered that before Mr Stink was ‘Mr Stink’ he was Lord Darlington.

Lord Darlington lived in a big, stately house with his wife Violet. One night Mr Stink/Lord Darlington went to London to catch up with some old friends from school. Whilst he was gone, his house caught on fire. Violet and their unborn child died.

Mr Stink blamed himself for the fire and Violet’s death. He tried to live in the house but it was too sad.

One day he decided to leave. He took some belongings with him, including a silver spoon, handkerchief and photo of him and Violet. Mr Stink just kept on walking.

Chloe’s kindness towards Mr Stink saw them develop an unlikely friendship. It proves you should ‘never judge a book by its cover’.

We are enjoying reading Mr Stink. At the start of each chapter we take turns to act out the name of the chapter. There have been some funny ones!

When we finish the book (which could be this week!) we are going to compare the book with the film version. Here’s a little taste of the film:


Have you read any of David Walliams’ books? Which ones?


What do you like most about the book Mr Stink?


What does ‘Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover’ actually mean? Have you been guilty of this?

Let Us Eat Lettuce!


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy | Posted on July 23, 2015

Today we didn’t eat our normal lunch…or even have it at the normal time! We grated, sliced, diced, peeled and chopped a variety of fruits and vegetables before we crunched and munched our way through salad sandwiches and fruit salads.

Our regular blog followers will know that we are learning about procedural texts at the moment. What better way to learn than by actually following a procedure and writing about it afterwards!




Follow our procedures and you too can have a fruity feast and a super salad spread!

How to Make a Salad Sandwich and Fruit Salad
(Makes approximately 45 sandwiches and small fruit salads)


Aim: To make a salad sandwich and fruit salad

-4 loaves of bread
-1.5 bags of grated cheese
-3 lettuces
-2 bags of carrots
-2 cucumbers
-11 apples
-6 oranges
-8 bananas

-Large Bowls
-Small bowls


Salad Sandwiches
1. Wash all fruit and vegetables
2. Grate the carrots (and place in a small bowl)


3. Slice the cucumber into thin pieces (and place in a small bowl)


4. Shred the lettuce into smallish pieces (and place in a bowl)


5. Butter the bread (optional)


6. Pour the cheese into a bowl


7. Make your sandwich by placing your favourite ingredients between the slices of bread



8. Eat it!



9. Clean up!


Fruit Salad
1. Peel the oranges, segment them into pieces and chop the pieces into thirds (and place in a small bowl)


2. Cut the apples into small chunks (and place in a small bowl)


3. Peel the bananas and cut them into thin slices (and place in a small bowl)


4. Clean up


5. Place pieces of your favourite fruits into a small bowl


6. Eat it!


You should now have a delicious sandwich and fruit salad to enjoy…and a clean kitchen area.


Our #globalpal Snappy joined us too!


Which verbs (doing words) can you spot in our procedure?


What ingredients would you put in your ideal salad sandwich? Fruit salad?


Procedures & Preps!


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy | Posted on July 17, 2015

This week we have been preparing procedures for our prep buddies!

A procedural text tells you how to do something. It might be how to cook something, build something, play something or travel somewhere. Procedures come in all shapes and sizes. From recipes to Google Map directions, procedures are everywhere. You have probably even followed one today!

Procedures have certain things in common. They have an aim, materials/equipment, steps/method/how to… and a concluding sentence that might be a tip, offer safety advice or just tell you what your finished product should look like.

Working with a partner, we chose a ‘thing’ to teach our prep buddies. It had to be something that a five year old would like and be able to do within ten minutes. When we were writing our procedures we thought about the needs of our audience. We had to use clear instructions and include diagrams or photos to support our words.


You can read some of our procedures below:




Today we tested out the effectiveness of our procedures. We read them to our younger friends who had to follow them. We were very happy to see our instructions in action!








What procedures do you use most?


What do you think makes a procedure easy to understand?



Reading Detectives


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy | Posted on May 10, 2015

We are learning about how to make inferences and draw conclusions when we read. If we can do this, it helps our comprehension and that means we understand the text better.

Inferring Image 1


Authors often give you clues about character personalities, thoughts and motives and events.  Click HERE to visit the website we used last week (and from where the text below is from).

Adrian wiped her sweating hands on her skirt and immediately checked to be sure she hadn’t stained the shimmering fabric. Through the thick curtain she heard the audience murmuring. Although she could not yet see them, her ears told her it must be a packed house. She’d dreamed of this moment all her life, spent years training her body to move gracefully in rhythm with the music. The final weeks leading up to tonight had been especially trying, and Adrian had the blisters and calluses to prove it. They were carefully hidden, of course, under delicate satin slippers with ribbons that encircled her ankles. The first notes of the opening number were hanging in the air as Adrian quickly took her place center stage. She took a deep breath, as she’d been taught, and tried to send all of the negative emotions out of her body as she slowly exhaled. The curtains parted.  


We used the clues in the text combined with our prior knowledge to infer that Adrian is waiting nervously to go on stage for a ballet performance that she has been preparing for over years.


The clues that helped us were:

-‘wiped her sweating hands’

-‘thick curtain’

-‘heard the audience’

-‘delicate satin slippers…’

-‘shimmering fabric’

-‘years training her body to move gracefully in rhythm with the music’

-‘blister and callouses’

-‘first notes were hanging in the air’

-‘took her place centre stage’

-‘took a deep breath….tried to send all the negative emotions out of her body’

Can you work out the ‘What Am I?’ poems below by inferring information?


Leave your answers in a comment!


Thank you to the ‘This Little Teacher’ website for supplying the poems.

Read to Someone


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy | Posted on April 15, 2015

This week in 5/6 Team we have started ‘Read to Someone’. Like the name suggests, it is when we read a text to someone else.

We brainstormed different reasons why we do this activity.

– It helps our fluency, expression, phrasing, speed and use of punctuation

– It helps our comprehension

– We can learn from other people and work out new words together

– It is a chance to give and receive feedback on our reading

– Gives us confidence to read (and speak) in front of other people

– It’s fun!


For all of the above things to happen, there are certain things we have to do:

– Start straight away

– Sit EEKK (elbow to elbow, knee to knee) with our partner

– Stay in one place

– Use a voice that our partner can hear but the whole room can’t

– Check that we understand what we read. Who? What? Where? When?

– Look at the text as our partner reads


Today we created a reading checklist and scored ourselves and our partner out of five in the following areas:

– Volume

– Clarity

– Expression

– Use of punctuation

– Speed










What do you like most about Read to Someone?


How do you improve your reading skills?


What texts are your favourite? Why?

March is Family Blogging Month!


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy, School Event | Posted on March 4, 2015

March is Family Blogging Month at Upper Plenty P.S!

We originally found out about this great idea from Mrs Yollis in America and really enjoyed it when we did it back in 2012. This time, it is even more exciting because our whole school is joining in!

Every time a student’s family member or friend leaves a comment on the blog, the family earns a point. You can earn a point for new comments every day. If the same person leaves more than one comment on the same day it only counts as one point.

Commenting is easy! Just scroll down to the end of this post and click on


Continue Reading


Scroll down and write your comment in the box.




When you are ready, type in the anti spam word and click submit. Your comment won’t appear instantly because it has to be approved. You can also click the ‘Reply’ button to reply to a comment that has already been left.


If you’re not sure what to write in your comment, Mrs Yollis has some advice.



Below is a table showing how many families have been busy commenting on our blog so far. Click on it to make it easier to read.


Blog Challenge 3.4


We love reading and replying to your comments and look forward to hearing from you soon!


What do you like most about blogging?


What would you like us to add to our blog?



Global Pal Project #globalpal


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Collaboration, Literacy, Twitter | Posted on March 1, 2015

We are excited to be starting our first global project for 2015! You can read about some of our past projects under the ‘Collaborative Projects’ tab at the top of the page.

Our ‘Global Pal’ project involves four global pals from four different schools around the world. We are very much looking forward to working with our friends from last year’s Twitter projectMrs Monaghan and Class 3 in England, Mrs Yollis and her third graders in America and Ms Shannon from the Northern Territory.

After lots of discussion and voting, each class selected a global pal. This pal is a mascot which will represent the class as it travels the world. Throughout the project (which runs until the end of July) each mascot will spend time in the three other classes. We will be using Twitter to communicate with the ‘owner’ of the mascot. We will be learning about the other country’s:

* Location (hemisphere, latitude, longitude, local terrain etc.)

* Currency

* Weather

* Favourite foods

* School and subjects being learnt

* After school activities

* Any special holidays or celebrations that might be happening


Liberty is Mrs Yollis’ class mascot.


Jolly George is Mrs Monaghan and Class 3’s mascot.

Jolly George

Snappy is Ms Shannon and Oskar’s mascot.


Josephine is our class mascot.


A number of animals were suggested as our global pal mascot. Josephine was the winner! We think a kangaroo is the perfect pal for us to send to other schools; they are native to Australia and we can often see them from our classroom windows.

She is named Josephine, after Josephine from the book ‘Josephine Wants to Dance’.  Josephine is taking the book with her to read to the other classes she visits. You can watch it here, thanks to the a lady named  Pam Gonzalez and the wonders of YouTube!

Liberty is currently making the long journey from England, where he has been visiting Mrs Monaghan’s class, to Upper Plenty. We are eagerly awaiting his arrival!

You can follow our #globalpal project on Twitter.

 What do you think we should show Liberty first?


Have you ever done a project with students in another class? Tell us about it!


High School Day


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Art, Literacy, Numeracy, Science, Special Event | Posted on December 8, 2014

There are nine more school days left before our Grade 5s become Grade 6s and our Grade 6s head off to other schools as Year 7s.

Last week we had our second ‘High School Day’ for the year.  We invited teachers from some of the secondary schools our Grade 6s will be going to in 2015. Five secondary school teachers, from three different schools, spent the day teaching us English, maths, science and art.  The day ran like a traditional day at secondary school.


We had to follow a lot of ‘High School’ rules. We were only allowed to go to our lockers at the start of the day, before recess, after recess, before lunch, after lunch and at home time. This meant we had to be organised and plan ahead. It seemed a bit funny taking our writing folders to art!

We have a healthy snack at 10am and 12:30pm. High School students only get to eat at recess and lunch time. Luckily, this was one rule we didn’t have to follow!


On the move - from first English to art

On the move – from first English to art


We learnt about art elements

We learnt about art elements


Our English class with Ms Barnes

Our English class with Ms Barnes


The fable we read in English with Mrs Coyle

The fable we read in English with Mrs Coyle


We learnt about acids and bases in Science

We learnt about acids and bases in Science


We worked out the mean, median and mode in Maths

We worked out the mean, median and mode of our heads in Maths



Today we completed some reflections about High School Day. Mrs Placek and Miss Crowther emailed us a High School Day feedback form using ePals. We had to complete it and send it back via email. Year 7s submit work electronically so it was perfect practise for us! You can read some of our reflections below.



Everyone enjoyed High School Day and it will make going to High School easier for us. We would like to thank Miss Perry, Ms Barnes, Mrs Coyle, Mr Devine and Mr Langdon for coming to Upper Plenty and teaching us. It was definitely the highlight of High School Day!


What is your favourite subject at school? Why?


Do you have any High School tips to share with us?




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