Thursday, 31 March 2016

Grade 4

So I have moved to a Grade 4 class this year having been on a Grade 5 for 5 years. Bit of change to life at school. I have really enjoyed meeting my Grade 4 students and setting up the classroom routines. 
Australian Curriculum for Grade 4 seems to focus specifically on sustainability and also a close look on perspectives of different cultures. I'm learning what needs to be covered and how I will engage students while covering the curriculum. I have set a goal of making sure multimodal assessment are used that will allow students to think at a deep level and show understanding. 
I will endeavour to blog throughout the year with some teaching ideas aimed at Grade 4.                 Stay tuned...

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Science Inquiry

My Grade 5 students have finished their science inquiries today ready for a few different upcoming events. The first is an Open Day tomorrow where our local member of parliament will be attending along with our Scientist in Schools professional. Grade 5/6 parents have been invited along also to celebrate the wonderful work that students have completed. Parents will be encouraged to question the children about their inquiries in preparation for next week. 
Next week will be our whole school science expo where we have invited some scientists from the local community along to judge our 5/6 students on their scientific knowledge of their chosen topic. The top groups will then be selected to compete in the UTAS Science Investigation Awards where they are in with the chance to win some money. 
Later in the year the science reports will also be entered into the Tasmanian Science Talent Search. If students work is good enough they can then be selected for the National Awards. 
It's been great to see the engagement of students and the pride they have had when completing their report and display board. Student engagement= quality work. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Zentangle art

It's been a long time between blogs. I have been busy this year on a Grade 5 class. Having a great year so far.
Recently my students designed their own zentangle on a triangular piece of fabric which was then made into a bunting for display. During whole class novel a strategy of mine is to allow students to doodle in a doodle book. There are two reasons for this, it stops students from talking to one another and it is also a calming activity for students to do. It's amazing how much information they take in from the whole class novel when they are doing this routine. 
Completing the zentangle was an extension of this process as it built on student's doodling skills and it resulted in a joint piece of artwork. The students used felt tip marker and were allowed to choose one small aspect of their design to colour in. The end product turned out amazing.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Vestibular stimulation- Sensory Processing Disorder

A while ago I wrote a blog about sensory processing disorder and some of the effects it has on my daughter. Today I wanted to share a bit more about what I have been doing to support her with her sensory problems.
A month ago, after having a sensory diet for my daughter completed, I decided to turn the toy room, that is never used, into a sensory room. I started by cleaning the space out. We have one side of our cupboard with shelves and the other side with hanging space. We turned the hanging side into a little cubby house with pillows, blankets and a weighted lap blanket. She also puts in lots of teddies and dolls when she gets in. This place has been great as it is a quiet, small space that she can use to self regulate if need be. She gets herself in there and shuts the door and I don't even realise she is in there sometimes until I call out and she answers. So yes I can now say that I put my daughter in the cupboard, lol.
The second thing I did was make a lycra tube which she can put on in the cupboard when she wants to. So easy to make and offers pressure if she is seeking. 
Today though I finally completed my daughters Christmas present and she has been in it for two hours straight and just loves it. It is a lycra swing that hangs from the ceiling. It can be hung from two, three or four attachment points. As a hammock it provides vestibular input, with increased deep pressure providing a calming effect. The three or four-point hookup increases the challenge by allowing my daughter to climb through the layers. Or, it can provide a calming tent-like space. This swing is great for developing body awareness and addressing motor planning skills. And I must say it is a hit! My daughter LOVES IT. 
I have a few other things I plan to do for the sensory room in the near future. The aim is to hopefully allow my daughter to self calm through using the sensory room rather than the Need to chew or consume food. I will keep you informed of her progress. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Grade 5 book review blog

I have decided to start a blog in my Grade 5 class. The blog is called Books are Life. It is a place for my students to post book reviews on the books they are currently reading. The blog is aimed at other Grade 5 students and other people who have an interest in books.
From a teaching perspective I feel the blog gives students a purpose for writing. The purpose of writing a book review is to inform an audience about whether they should or should not read that book. The blog gives students that audience. Take a look at their work :-)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

UTAS Science competition

The 5/6 UTAS Science competition was held today at our school with over 77 entries from schools across the North West and North of our state. We had 123 students engaged in science as they were judged by science experts from the University. I had ten entries from my grade 5 students and we managed to have 6 of those eateries short listed to the top 9 in this section. Super proud of the students and their achievements. The poster boards looked amazing and the students ability to talk the science was well worth the hard work that went into the classroom. Looking forward to the presentation evening tonight. Well done  to all involved.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

History final assessment task

I have recently completed a unit of work on 19th Century Australian History with a focus of the impacts that events and people had on colonies during that time. I decided to move away from a written task this time to provide opportunities for kids that don't necessarily work to their potential when having to write. All students learn differently and therefore all assessments should vary to support that fact. The assessment task allowed for a high level of engagement by students and also allowed students to really demonstrate their full understanding of the topic. 

The task I set involved using a brown paper bag. Students needed to choose five items to represent people or events that had a significant impact on colonies in Australia during the 19th Century. The selected items were then placed in the bag. Items were made during class time
and also brought in from home. Once the items had been selected students could decorate the outside of the bag. When they had completed this they had to prepare a speech. The speech involved students pulling out an item one at a time and informing an audience about what the item represented and what impact that item had on colonies of Australia using factual information to support their claims. 

Students all got up in front of their peers without any hesitation to deliver their speeches. Sharing of knowledge broadened students understanding further. Beyond the five items they selected they learnt from their peers on other items. 

Both Grade 5 classes completed this task. Upon reflection my colleague teacher and I both felt this task allowed students to really demonstrate their understandings. I will certainly be using this again in my future practice.