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?

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?

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?




The Bee’s Knees!


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy | Posted on November 13, 2014

This week we have been learning about different literary devices in texts.  Literary devices are tools that make a text better. They include:

Alliteration: Two or more words in a row that start with the same sound

Hyperbole: An exaggerated statement

Metaphor: Used to compare two things

Onomatopoeia: Used to describe words that sound like their meaning

Personification: When human characteristics are given to objects

Idiom: An expression that doesn’t mean exactly what it says

Simile: Used to compare two things – ‘like’ or ‘as’ are used

To read about them in more detail,  click HERE.

Today we watched the YouTube clip below to see how movies and songs use literary devices all the time.



We thought it was ‘The bee’s knees!‘ and ‘As good as gold!’

All week we have been having fun sharing the idioms, metaphors, similes and hyperboles we read, hear and use each day.  We have taken to it like moths to flames! It is amazing how many times  we use literary devices every day – often without knowing!

We would love to hear your examples of literary devices!


Jolly Junior Journalists


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy | Posted on August 22, 2014

At Upper Plenty P.S every class focuses on the same text type for five weeks. This term our first focus was on procedural texts and now we are learning about information reports.

We read and write a range of the focus text over the five weeks so that we can learn about their purpose, structure, language and features. In our reading sessions we use our comprehension strategies to understand the text and we also analyse why the author has made certain choices.

Each class has a poster to help write their own texts. The posters were made at a staff meeting by all the teachers. The white space at the side is for us to put an example of an information report.


Information reports come in many shapes and sizes. Newspaper and newsletters are full of information reports written by journalists. This week we became journalists as we worked together to create the school newsletter. Our week went like this:


* Brainstorm articles

* Allocate articles (we worked with a partner or in a group of three)

* Create at least five open ended interview questions


* Conduct interviews

* Write introduction and body

* Think of a catchy title

* Save the document in a specific folder on the server


* Write conclusion

* Revise and edit article

* Take photos if required

* Cut and paste the article from individual document into school newsletter in Publisher


* Print draft copy of newsletter

* Read one page with a partner and highlight any errors

* Correct errors as a class (this was the first time we saw the whole newsletter)

* Print final copy and present to Mrs Laffan for approval

* Copy 160 copies for each family in the school

You can read our newsletter below. Click on the rectangle in the bottom right hand corner to make it bigger.

Update 21st August


Whilst we don’t usually get to write the whole school newsletter, we do take it in turns to write a class newsletter each week. Billie and Tayla-Jade wrote this week’s and you can read it below. You can read our previous newsletters HERE.



What do you like most about our newsletter/s?


What could we do to make them better?


What would you write an information report about?


We Must Be Crazy!!


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy, Numeracy, School Event | Posted on August 10, 2014

Saturday morning. 7am. 4 degrees Celsius.

What would you do? Well, we headed off to a local market with a car load of goodies to sell that we had either made, collected through donations from letters written to companies or donated ourselves.

Open for business!

Open for business!






It was all part of our work with numeracy and economics and our quest to earn $1000 by the end of the year. If we reach our target we will be able to plan our very own excursion. It doesn’t even have to be about what we are studying – we can go ANYWHERE…as long as we can afford it!

Throughout the year we have been working steadily towards our goal of $1000. Regular blog visitors may remember our first market stall held at our school market night. Since then we have sold ANZAC cookies, run an iTunes Raffle (winner received a $20 iTunes card) and held a ‘Guess the Lollies in the Jar’ competition.  We earned $117 at the local market which brings our total savings to $635.90.

Having a class bank account and working together to earn and save money has been lots of fun. It has also taught us many things. Here are just a few of them:

– How to present our ideas well. We have written proposals and presented them to our principal, Mrs Laffan. Two people have to present to School Council.

– How to count different money amounts. We take it in turns to ‘bag up’ the money into little bank bags so it can be banked. There are bank rules about how much money can be put in a certain bag according to the type of coin.

– How to ‘sell’ and advertise our events.

– How to work together to get everything done so that an event can run smoothly.

– Lots of maths skills including rounding, estimating, budgeting, adding, subtracting and working out discounts. We were even doing maths on a Saturday at the market!

Future plans include a food stand for interval at our school productions, a gold coin donation ‘Pyjama Day’ (after our school production) and a Kid’s Trivia Night.  We might also hold a movie night.

What has been your favourite event so far? Why?


What are some of your tips for saving money?


What events do you think we should run in the future?


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