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New Look Blog for 2015

Hello,

Thank you for tuning in to read the blog about the fabulous world of learning taking place in 4/5/6A this year. Our new Inquiry unit centres around ‘Closing The Gap’. Our essential question is, “How can we work towards a more equitable world?”

We have had an investigation around the meaning of ‘equitable’ and the difference between that and ‘equality’. We think this cartoon is a great way to demonstrate it:

 

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How would you use this image to explain it to someone who didn’t understand?

To help build on our existing knowledge of the topic, we are reading newspaper articles and watching clips to learn about the living conditions of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people and how it differs from our own. We have been discussing our own personal Needs and Wants, and compared how what we choose differs from our classmates’. Some topics we can’t decide if they are a Need or a Want; for example, medicine, or education. Some of us disagree. What do you think? We would love to hear your point of view. Please feel free to comment below.

 

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

 

Term 4 Begins!

Hi everyone!

Term 4 is well and truly underway. How lovely is it to have longer days and warmer weather? Term Four is probably the busiest of all at Dinjerra. We have swimming, the annual Community Market and Grade Six Graduation, just to name a few activities. Speaking of the Grade Sixes, we have decided to dedicate a portion of this Blog to two Grade Six profiles until the end of the year. Our senior students are such amazing role models, and we will miss them terribly when the begin they next chapter of their lives and head off to high school. This week’s post features Vina and Andrew, two outstanding young people.

 

Hi my name is Vina and I am in Year Six. I love going to Dinjerra PS and I can't wait to go to high school. I'm going to miss Dinjerra because I love the teachers because they are so dedicated to teaching their students, and help them improve in all areas. When I grow up I want to be an author or a doctor. I can't wait to accomplish my goals.

Hi my name is Vina and I am in Year Six. I love going to Dinjerra PS and I can’t wait to go to high school. I’m going to miss Dinjerra because I love the teachers because they are so dedicated to teaching their students, and help them improve in all areas. When I grow up I want to be an author or a doctor. I can’t wait to accomplish my goals.

 

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Hi my name is Andrew and I’m in Grade Six at Dinjerra PS. I love Dinjerra, but I guess I have to move on to high school. I love Dinjerra because it’s the only primary school I’ve been to, but that’s beside the point. Dinjerra is a wonderful school because I have made friends that will change my life, and the teachers too; but not in a bad way, in a magnificent way. I can’t wait to go to high school but sad I have to leave my friends and teachers behind. When I go to high school it will be harder, but it will also change my life. In high school I hope to achieve my goals and put the bad moments behind me.

 

Our new Leadership program for Term Four has kicked off, too. We are lucky to have the ‘Sisters and Brothers’ crew working with our students to stamp out racial discrimination using rap, hip-hop, storytelling and music. You can learn more about them at: http://sistersandbrothersproject.org

 

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Did you know we are one of only a handful of schools who teach a specialised science program? We love scientific investigations and last week we were lucky enough to have Mr. Tony (a preservice teacher from Victoria University) take us for a lesson about air pressure. A bunch of kids with a heap of balloons, what can go wrong???

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We love to use technology to help us with our learning at Dinjerra. Below, Vina and Jessica are doing a web quest that Miss Watts built using the website ‘Weebly’. We can submit our answers online, and they get sent straight to Miss Watts’ email address! Cool, huh? We are learning about democracy, and below is a YouTube clip about Charles Perkins and the Freedom Rides. Do you know who that is?

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Well, that’s how our term has kicked off, we look forward to updating you in couple of weeks with more of our learning journey. Feel free to comment below, we love to hear your comments about our learning!

Until next time,

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

 

Time flies when you’re having fun!

As Term Three draws to a close, the students have been very busy with showcasing their considerable talents across a range of activities. Many of you would remember the amazing performance of ‘Step Up’ the Grade 5/6 children were a part of in Term One. Well, several of our school leaders went back for more dance and drama workshopping with Cale and Colette, and the result was a fabulous dance to the Justice Crew hit, “Que Sera”. You can view this awesome performance below.

 

 

We have also demonstrated our amazing athletic talents at our annual Sports Carnival. Every year, students representing Green and Gold house battle it out in a range of sports such as running relays, Leaderball, and the favourite: The Dress Up Relay. Due to Melbourne’s wacky spring weather, we had to go with a ‘Plan B’. Unfortunately, this meant we couldn’t participate as a whole school, but we managed to get through most of our events. It’s always a fun but exhausting day, and congratulations to Gold Team- first victory in 4 years! Well done, everyone, so much great sportsmanship and cheering.

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Finally, we have celebrated Book Week with a book parade dressing up as our favourite characters. The students were very creative, and came along in costumes inspired by characters who influence and impress us, make us laugh and cry, and some we aspire to. Can you think who who your favorite book character is? Can you guess who these students below have dressed as?

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Hope you have enjoyed reading our news. We’d love for you to comment on our wonderful learning in 4/5/6A.

Until Term 4,

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

 

Spring is in the air and we’re loving it!

Term Three is well underway and we are having a ball. We have some extra iPads for our classroom so that means we get the chance to try out some more ICT for learning and collaboration. In the picture below, Cung Tin is using Scribble Press to create his own picture storybook. It’s really easy to import photos and add text, and you can even ‘scribble’ your own pictures. Can’t wait to read it!

 

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We love to share our learning, and we can learn so much from one another’s ideas. Below shows a way we can collaborate in class combining ICT and literacy learning. Using Padlet, Miss Watts imported an image and posed the question of the character; “What is he thinking” We worked in small groups on the floor with the iPads and inferenced what the dog might be thinking. It was great seeing some of the creative responses from our classmates! Zoom in on the image below and check them out.

On Wednesday morning, we were lucky to get a visit from some of the crew from the Footscray Women’s Circus. They taught us about making tableaux. We worked in small groups to come up with a series of ‘photographs’ with our bodies and our classmates had to guess what actions we were doing. What do you think the girls below are doing?Processed with Moldiv

 

Finally, we continue to work in the area of number in Maths. It’s so important to continually revisit place value and our number system as they are the foundation of all other mathematics we learn. We like to make it ‘hands on’ in class as it deepens our understanding. One of the activities was a Human Number Line with decimals. We worked hard to help our classmates insert themselves into the right position.

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I could have added a million more things, but that will do for now. We would love you to comment on our learning.

Until next time,

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

Never a dull moment in 4/5/6A

Well, we have been busy bees over in 4/5/6A! Despite being freezing cold, we are still bursting with enthusiasm and love of learning at Dinjerra.

Often during wet weather, we can’t get outside to play at recess and lunchtimes. As I am sure you are aware, kids need to burn some of their abundant energy. Lucky for us, we have a breakout space and a lovely BER building to hang out in. Here are some of the things we get up to:

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We are very fortunate that throughout the year we have high school students from SEDA come to Dinjerra to coach us in a range of sports. Most recently, we had the basketballers. They taught us about dribbling, shooting and defense. It’s always great fun when they visit.

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We also had a visit from our Literacy Big Buddies from Footscray Police. Ardoch Youth Foundation team us up and we form a ‘Pen Pal’ relationship that lasts most of the year. We learn about their jobs and their lives, and we tell them about ourselves. Letter writing and communication are a couple of great skills that come from this process. After a few letters, the Big Buddies visit us at school, and later in the year we will visit them at the police station! Yesterday, they brought the police cars and vans, and put the sirens and speakers on. It was super exciting but a little scary too!

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Lastly, you know how we all love reading at Dinjerra? Here are some of our students enjoying the various quiet reading spaces around the building. We hate to be distracted when immersing ourselves in our books!

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Anyway, that is just a sniff of the stuff we’ve been getting up to. Until next time,

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

Is it nearly the end of Term 2 already???

Term 2 is always the busiest term of the year, and at a busy little school like Dinjerra, time just seems to fly!

Last week we tuned in to the ABC Splash website to learn more about what inspires the legendary Australian author Graeme Base. We have many of his books in the school and classroom libraries, and we spent some time enjoying them again before the live stream began. We particularly admire his artwork, and it’s always great to hear firsthand how authors find inspiration.

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After learning how Graeme Base goes about creating his nonsense monsters, we let loose in the art room on Friday to have a go at creating our own creature. We started with a blob of ink which we then blew with straws to create a shape. As the ink was drying we headed outside for a lie around staring at the clouds. We discovered a whole range of creatures formed by the clouds, from dragons to turtles. We then returned to the art room, and used a black marker and watercolor pencils to create our monster. As we finished we developed a background story for our creature.

 

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You may have noticed something a little creepy last Friday. Not only was it Friday the 13th, considered by the superstitious as one of the spookiest days of the year, but it was also a full moon, which can make some people go a little odd. Every day in class we start the day with the ‘Morning Message’. This helps children improve their grammar, punctuation and spelling. Miss Watts decided to stick with the creepy theme…

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Many parents got a bit of a break a couple of weeks ago when their children went off to Leadership camp. Most students from Grade 3/4/5 and 6 travelled up to the YMCA camp in Mt. Evelyn where they participated in a range of fun, daring activities. Those who remained behind experienced some similar Leadership activities at school. The children had an amazing time, though the teachers were all pretty exhausted!

Here are a couple of comments from our campers:

“YMCA camp was the best experience I ever had in my life! I felt I really learned a lot, made new friends, learned new games and songs. All the food was great and I got to do some cool activities like Lowrope, Biking, Archery and Flying Fox. We got to look up close to wild animals that were stuffed. I stayed up all night talking to Chhitiz. My favorite part was the ‘Red Faces’, the YMCA talent contest. I had the time of my life, so don’t sit in the corner of the room, go and join in and have fun!”   -Harry

“Firstly, I really enjoyed the activities of camp because some of them were the first time I tried them, such as archery and the Flying Fox. I made lots of friends with the YMCA leaders. Secondly the food was very yummy and good. For morning tea I had fruit and for lunch, tacos. At dinner we had roast chicken with potatoes, peas and corn. Dessert was apple crumble, and finally we had toasted marshmallows. We sang songs by the fire and danced. For breakfast the next day we had pancakes, toast and cereal, and for lunch we made our own damper. It was really fun!”  -Eva

 

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Finally, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @DinjerraWatts. We are constantly sharing our learning of the world, and we’d love to have you join in with us!

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Signing off for now,

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

Fab week of Fun and Learning for 4/5/6A

Firstly, I’d like to give a big shout out to the Grade Five children who undertook the NAPLAN testing last week. Although it was tiring and challenging, the kids put in an amazing effort and and tried their absolute hardest. We could not be more proud of their positive attitude and their willingness to try their best. Congrats also to the Grade Four and Six kids who showed them so much support during those fews days. By Friday, there were a few fried brains so the children were able to enjoy spending their Maths lesson playing maths games such as Sudoku, Monopoly and chess.

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We have some exciting news! Simone, who comes to teach us drumming through the Australian Children’s Music Foundation, told us we were invited to do a performance at Federation Square! We will join two other grades from Dinjerra, and some other schools from the West and do a concert in July. We’d better get practicing! Two of our soloists are Jess and Harry. Look at them rocking out!

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This week we have conducted a Spelling Investigation into different plurals in the English language and we sometimes get confused about which plural to use with which word. Is it ‘s’, ‘es’, or ‘ies’? We worked in groups with a range of words, classified them and looked for patterns. I’m trying to trick the kids during the ‘Morning Message’ but they’re on to me!

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We hope you are enjoying our blog. Just a reminder, camp is coming up soon and we look forward to sharing our experiences with you. Please comment on our learning, the kids love to hear your feedback.

Until next time,

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

Term 2 is underway!

It’s been a very hectic start to the second term in 4/5/6A! Firstly, we are fortunate to have experts from various Western sporting clubs visit us for some free clinics. Thanks to Pauline from Altona Badminton club for coming to teach us some skills- a few of us even got scholarships for a free lesson! We also had high school students associated with Melbourne Victory come and help us with our soccer skills. It was a little cold and wet but the kids didn’t care. They will be back again this week. The teachers are hoping for better weather!

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The students from Victoria University finished up their Maths micro-teaching sessions this week. We have been really looking forward to Mondays working with them. They are well prepared and always try to provide engaging activities for us. Good luck in your teacher training!

Have you ever heard of Archimedes’ Puzzle? Its like a Tangram and is a square made up from a series of different polygons. When you cut out the 14 pieces, you are supposed to be able to make a right-angled triangle. It’s a fun puzzle that had most of us stumped! We ended up looking at the solution after trying for ages. Here is the one Abi made. Congrats, Abi!

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Dinjerra Primary School has launched its School Wide Positive Behaviours token system. When the students are seen demonstrating one of our school values; We are Safe, We are Thoughtful, or We are Learners, they are awarded a Dinjerra Token. At the end of the month they can trade these tokens in for various activities, such as indoor lunchtime play, or cooking with Miss Carla. The tokens are recorded by the teachers using the iPad app ‘Class Dojo’. All children are doing an amazing job. Keep it up!

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Finally, we are gearing up for NAPLAN week. The Grade Five students (along with the Grade Threes) will be sitting National Testing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week. It’s so important that children get a good night’s sleep- at least eight hours! They also need to eat well, have lots of fruit and vegetables and most importantly, eat breakfast. Sleep and a healthy diet means children are able to do their best learning. Good luck Grade Fives!

Until next week,

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

 

Term One Wrap Up from 4/5/6A

Well it’s been as massive term for the students in 4/5/6A!

For the Grade 5/6’s, we have been working all term with the Grade 2’s and Cale and Colette from 3D Arts Company. Our performance of ‘Step Up’ (named by us) was a mixture of dance and drama reflecting one of our school values, ‘We are Safe’. Over the term we brainstormed ideas and worked on our performance which culminated in our show on Monday afternoon in front of our schoolmates, and again in the evening for our families and VIPs. We were very fortunate to have a visit from ‘The Maribyrnong Weekly’ for photos, and also Nam Quach, the Deputy Mayor of Maribyrnong! Wowee!!!

Stay tuned for the 5/6 student reflections that will be shown next term

 

 

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We have also had pre-service teaching students from Victoria University spend Mondays here for lectures. One of their assignments is working with upper primary students with small group Maths instruction using concrete materials. It is fantastic to get to work with other kids and teachers in training.

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We have had a wonderful start to the year and look forward to coming back for more learning in a couple of weeks. Some of us don’t want to take holidays at all but have promised that we will continue our learning throughout the holidays. There are always books to read, recipes to cook, Mathletics to play and conversations to have!

Until next time,

Miss Watts and Grade 4/5/6A

 

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Grade 4/5/6A’s fab week 6/3/2014

Another busy, busy week for the kids of Grade 4/5/6A! Last Thursday we were lucky enough to have not one, but two football players from the Western Bulldogs come and visit our school. In addition to teaching us footy skills, such as hand balling, marking and kicking, they also talked to us about leadership, teamwork and hard work. In some ways, the skills they need to be great footballers (apart from the athleticism) are not so different to what we need at school to be great LEARNERS. In addition, we realized that to be a champion team they also needed to be SAFE  and THOUGHTFUL, which are our school values

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We also had our first of several visits from local high schools for the beginning of Grade 6 Transition. Toula from Braybrook College came to Dinjerra to tell us a bit more about what we can expect from high school. She fielded a great deal of questions about lockers, the canteen and the uniform. I think a few kids are a little nervous about the prospect of beginning high school next year. Later on in the month we will visit Braybrook College and get the chance to attend classes and get the ‘feel’ of high school. Eeeeeek!!!

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In Maths this week, we have been looking at the properties of 3D shapes. We have identified them according to their faces, sides and vertices. In addition, we have had a go at the fiddly task of making our own nets and constructing our own 3D shapes. Did you know that the two opposites sides of a die always add up to 7? 1+6, 2+5 and 3+4. Go and check for yourself! We also start everyday with a Maths Warm-up game. This is to help us switch on for the day and get into ‘Maths-mode’. These games are always fun and allows all kids to participate as many have an element of chance.

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Thanks for reading our blog this week. We enjoy hearing your thoughts about our learning so we would love your comments.

Signing off,

Miss Watts and 4/5/6A

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