About Time!

No, we aren’t big green men, we don’t wear our undies over our trousers, we don’t even swing through the street blasting spider webs from our wrists. However, we do have a superpower. LA1’s superpower is bending time! It must be, ’cause there’s absolutely no way we’d have been able to fit so much into this term if we hadn’t been able to grab time by the scruff of the neck and bend it, stretch it and smash it to pieces. So far we’ve cramed in a new novel study (a huge project), practical measurement activities, a new spelling programme, the study of why Britain sent convicts to Australia… That very short list is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. If you ever feel like the weeks are stretching out a little more than usual, don’t panic, it’s just LA1 up to our usual timey-wimey tricks.

Who’s Walter?

LA1 are back in the swing of things! Two weeks off, followed by the usual craziness of chasing the clock and trying to grab some spare time to blog has left this space fairly empty. However, we’re here and getting stuck into our new novel study. This term we’re looking at the novel His Name Was Walter by Emily Rodda. I have to say, it’s a tricky story for the year 5’s, but we’re getting right into it. One of the first activities we did was to develop character webs in our groups. These are really dynamic and will grow to wall-filling proportions as we learn about the characters and watch them develop and change as the novel unfolds. I’ll post much more about this intriguing story as the term progresses – time allowing.

Slow Starters

It’s taken us a while, but we’re really starting to get going. Due to technical problems beyond our control (changeover of computers), it took us longer than usual to get all of our digital activities up and running. However, even though we’re approaching the end of term 2, we’re finally on our way. We’ve started our blogs (obviously) and begun to use our Google applications. The students have completed their first podcasts, which will soon be on their blogs, and edited them using Audacity. We’ve also begun our coding journey which we’ll hopefully be following throughout the rest of the year. Check out the images below of the students working on Code.org.

Cringey Kids

There are few things more cringe than listening to your own voice. I’m used to it now, especially after working with technology in the classroom for so many years. It was very different for the students, though, as they spent last week editing their first attempts at a podcast. The looks of awkward embarrassment and the sounds of cringey giggles eventually faded as the students got to work honing their editing skills on Audacity. The topic of their podcast was a simple one, they had a little chat about what they thought the word “compassion” means. It was only a short one, but you can check out the example below which was introduced by the very well spoken Charli.

 

Blogging Task #2 Mental Health

We all need to take care of ourselves! I can’t think of any issue on a personal level more important than our own mental well-being. For too many it’s something that we come to realise mostly when it’s way too late. The problem is that we tend to take good mental health for granted, a bit like a well running car; why tinker with it if it’s all fine? However, to keep running smoothly we need to maintain ourselves, especially during the good times, or one day we may just find ourselves in a big mess.

One way of staying mentally healthy is to make sure we give ourselves time for something we enjoy. My fun little MG F isn’t only my car, it’s my hobby, my interest and a thing that I thoroughly enjoy. Renovating my car ensures I make time just for me, to do something I like and that takes my mind off the pressures of everyday life. This new blogging task is to take a photo of your pastime or hobby and post it as a new header with an explanation of what it means to you. How does your hobby make you feel? Does it give you space and time alone? How long have you been doing it? If you don’t have a hobby, how do you find time for yourself to relax? How do you help yourself feel good?

Weighting Around

It’s hard to believe, but the students in LA1 have some awesome superpowers. Just like Superman, they’ve been able to use glue sticks that weigh as much as 500 grams and kick soccer balls that weigh 3 kilograms. Well, that’s what they thought they were doing until we started hefting and estimating this week. Just like I remember my old Maths teacher telling us about calculators, we aren’t always able to carry scales around with us in our pockets (watch this one come back to haunt me). This means that the ability to estimate the weight of an object is a very important and practical skill. The students had a go at hefting and estimating the weight of a collection of objects, then we weighed them as a class to see how good our original skills were. The sad result from this is that the students lost their superpowers; no longer are they able to use their 500 gram glue sticks or kick 3 kilogram soccer balls. The photos below are of the students working to post a write up of their learning on their blogs.

A Rich Class

“Australia – best in the world!” I’ve heard this so many times since I emigrated 23 years ago, and this week we had a wonderful example of how true this statement can be. We’re so rich and privileged here in LA1 and we were able to flaunt our wealth to the whole community this week when we sang a song all about celebrating diversity. You see, LA1 is a mix of all religions and none at all, cultures and traditions from so many backgrounds, families from India, Singapore, Macedonia, England, Hungary (and many more) all working and playing together in one small classroom. No, we didn’t sing about wealth, but our riches were in view for everyone to see.

Blogging Task #1

“Get yourself sorted out!” Your blog, that is, get your blog sorted out. This week we need to start getting serious with our blogs. What I want to see this week is a new page added, an “About Me” page which explains all the information people may need about you and stays in place permanently. The difference between a page and a post is that a page stays as it is, whereas the posts change each time a new one is added. Next, make sure you’ve deleted any widgets you aren’t going to use and that you’ve added the Class Blogs widget. Finally, I’d like everyone to post a comment on any of my posts from this year and post on the blogs of two other students (not just your besties, though). Keep to our blogging and commenting guidelines, if you don’t the comment will be trashed. Have fun!

Back For Round 2

Term 1 was hectic! It wasn’t that long ago, but it now feels like a hazy, distant memory that went by in a crazy blur. However, looking forward I think term 2 will actually be much worse. We’ve got so much to squeeze in this term that, like many teachers around the world, I fully expect that we won’t reach all the targets we set for ourselves. In week 3 we’ll be starting almost two weeks of swimming lessons and these will take nearly two hours a day out of the timetable; time well spent, though as swimming is a lifesaving skill here in Western Australia. Regardless of what happens, LA1 will keep on keeping on and we’ll make term 2 another great experience.

“Teachers Torture Students!”

This week we decided to torture the students! Well that’s what you’d think we did if you listened to them moaning and groaning. In actual fact, they took part in our annual Faction Cross Country competition, a 1.5 kilometre run around the local park next to the school. It was a great day and all the students who took part can be proud of themselves for completing the whole course. In the end, one of our own boys, Christian, took Champion Boy honours for the year 5s – a fabulous achievement. Check out the images below of the students being put through their horrific torture!