Busy learners!

Hi everyone,

We have been so busy in room 39 the past 5 weeks. We can not believe we are already half way through the term!! Here are some things we have been learning about so far.

In maths, we have looked at fractions and what halves, fourths and eighths are of a collection. We have also just finished learning about Australian notes and coins and what the value of each one is. See if your child can tell you the value of a collection of Australian notes and coins! This week we are starting to look at time.

In spelling, we have been learning to identify letter patterns in words (Words Their Way) and have been loving completing our sorts every day.

We have just finished looking and learning about different mixtures in Science. One of the biggest lessons we learnt from this topic is that not all experiments work out the way we plan! See if your child can tell you what happened when they tried to make slim.

In English we are almost finished reading and writing Narratives. We have discovered how we can create a character using adverbs and adjectives to describe what a character looks like, physical features and what type of character they are. We have looked at using similes to describe our setting and characters as well! We are doing so well at identifying similes in our reading and also including them in our writing. Miss Chatwin is so impressed. We are beginning to write the problem of our stories this week and hopefully even get to writing our resolutions.

We will start looking a little more at Lionel Samson and the history of his life this Friday.

Have a greatevening. See you all tomorrow!

 

Austin’s butterfly

On Friday the 2nd of June, all Aubin Grove staff attended Professional Learning to further our Visible Learning Journey.

As part of this we observed a story – Austin’s Butterfly. It is an inspiring video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqh1MRWZjms

This is what Austin highlighted for me as a teacher:

1. Always expect the best from your students. If your expectations are high yet realistic and they know you believe in them, they will do everything in their power to reach those standards.

2. It is essential to provide meaningful, ongoing feedback to students at all stages of the learning process so I can provide them with explicit, ongoing and meaningful feedback.

3. Help them to shoot for the stars and aim for a personal best. We must differentiate to individuals and we must make their personal best our overall goal.

4. Create a classroom culture where students can provide their friends with feedback that can help their friends further their progress. All they need to be taught is the structures of being a critical friend.

I was so excited to share this with the Room 39, we started this exercise on Monday afternoon.

We discussed becoming a critical and kind friend and how we can support each others learning. We then watched Austin’s Butterfly and discussed the way the children interacted and provided feedback.

We then discussed the type of language that the children were using throughout video be a critical friend. It was then time to begin drafting their butterflies.

First draft – they draw a simple butterfly.

Second draft – they use a photo of a real life butterfly to independently assess and draw a new butterfly.

Third draft – children sat in small groups with the photos and drawings. The students identified aspects of each other’s drawings that were good and also what could be improved.

On Wednesday afternoon, the children will be given the opportunity to do a fourth draft and repeat the feedback process. 

They now have an Austin Butterfly process booklet with their drawings to remind them on two key things.
1. They are always capable of progress and becoming more successful learners.
2. We are all kind and critical friends who can help each other become successful learners.

Last day with Mrs Edgar

Keep being amazing Room 39! I will miss you SO much.

Weeks 8 – 10

Term 1 has almost come to an end! What a term it’s been.

English:
We’ve been learning about contractions. We know that contractions are a shortened form of two words written as one word in which an apostrophe takes the place of the missing letter or letters. We practised turning two words into one and then made these gorgeous contraction caterpillars!

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We also continued writing stories. This time we created our own storyline with a plan, drafted it, then turned them into books! We will be reading these books to other classes then taking them home at the end of this term.

In Term 2 we will no longer be focusing on narratives, our focus will be on persuasive writing!

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Mathematics:
We’ve been continuing on with our written and mental addition and subtraction strategies. We revised using a blank number line (see previous post) and also learnt how to chunk (split) two-digit numbers. We have been solving worded number problems and applying the strategies we now know.

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We have also just begun learning how to solve multi step word problems (word problems that contain more than one step). We will continue doing these early in Term 2.

Health:
We have been learning how to stay sun safe! Check out some of our awesome sun safety information posters:

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Have a happy Easter and I’ll see you all in Term 2!

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Weeks 6 – 7

Busy as always in Room 39! Check out what we’ve been up to…

English:
We continued on with Show, Don’t Tell (see previous blog post or click here to see an example). We wrote about a photograph we were given using rich descriptions.

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We are also in the planning stages of writing our own stories. There will be photos to come! Once we have planned and drafted our narratives, we will be publishing them and we will hopefully be able to display them at the library for other children to read.

Mathematics:
Measurement:
We have been learning how to measure using informal units. Length can be measured using informal or non-standard units, such as hand spans, paperclips or popsticks.

Why bother with informal units of measurement?

We have used paper clips and blocks to measure items within our class. Our estimates are becoming more accurate as we get better at understanding measurement. In the activity pictured below we used 1cm cubes to measure how far the monster on the page moved:

Number:

We have also been using various strategies to help us add. Even though we may be able to add large numbers together, it’s important for us to learn multiple strategies to solve problems and choose the best strategy that works for us.
Skilled mathematical thinkers have a variety of problem solving strategies in their toolbox and can access them quickly and efficiently.  They understand that the same strategy doesn’t work for all problems and are able to apply the best, most effective strategy to each problem they solve, almost effortlessly or without even thinking about it.

We have been learning how to add double digit numbers using an open number line:

Watch this video that demonstrates how to use a blank number line to add (and subtract) two-digit numbers together easily!

When we add by tens, we call this ‘jumping’ on the number line. When we add by one, we call this a ‘hop’.
If we were adding 43 plus 24, I would say to the students “start on 43. Make 2 jumps of ten, and count on 4 hops.”

Weeks 4-5

 

What another busy, but fun fortnight!
We kicked off the week with a Valentine’s Day activity:

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But what else?

English:

We have continued writing narratives. To further improve on what we’ve already done, we have been learning about a strategy called ‘show, don’t tell‘. This is a technique often employed in various kinds of texts to enable the reader to experience the story through action, words, thoughts, senses and feelings rather than the author just telling or reporting information.
We looked at a series of pictures with different partners. We described the picture using our senses (taste, sight, touch, smell, hearing). Here are some of the pictures we described without telling:

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We then had a go on our own at using show, don’t tell:

We began reading groups this fortnight too! We run reading groups 3-4 times a week, with each session having a different focus. Some days we read to build fluency, other days we have a grammar or writing focus. Every Friday we answer reading comprehension questions to see how well we understood the book. We get new reading books each week.

And let’s not forget phonics! Every few days we are revising and learning new sounds. Year 2 classes are beginning with long vowel sounds. We use our Phonics Books to read our target sounds in a range of words. Sometimes we also look at different prefixes and suffixes, silent letters and additional sounds within these words for extension. We practise handwriting and sentence writing in these sessions too.

Mathematics:
In Year 2, students learn to compare and order several shapes and objects based on length using appropriate uniform informal units. We worked collaboratively to measure different objects in our classroom using paperclips and blocks. We then independently measured set objects using 1cm cubes.

This fortnight we also continued revising how to solve simple addition and subtraction problems using a range of efficient mental and written strategies.

Health:
This term in Health, students are learning how to contribute to healthy and active communities. In this unit, students explore actions that keep people safe and healthy in and outside the classroom, such as:

  • staying hydrated
  • being sun smart
  • following school rules

We have begun this unit by exploring our school and classroom rules. A major part of this has been revising the FiSH Philosophy.  We discussed the values of play, make their day, choose your attitude and be there. We also made these beautiful fish bowls to display our understanding of these values:

 

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Weeks 2-3

Our classroom has started to take shape, finally! We have been working hard to get work up and on display. So what work have we been doing?

English:
We have been writing narratives in Room 39. We wrote a story using a picture prompt. This helped us to structure our writing to include a clear beginning, middle and end. Over the following days, we worked on including detail, particularly when describing characters, the setting and the problem. Before writing, we had opportunities to orally present information that might be included in a beginning, a middle or at the end. Below is a preview of some students presenting a problem to their story that was reflective of the picture prompt they were given. They came up with all of these ideas!

Orally presenting allowed for students to have more clarity in their writing. The stories students produced were so fantastic that I had to send them home! I hope you enjoyed reading them. Did you notice that the character and setting was described and the problem too?
We spent the following week writing yet another story! These are currently displayed in our classroom. We used the circular prompts to remind us of what details we needed to include.

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Mathematics:

In Maths, we have been revising place value into the thousands and mental strategies that we would’ve learnt in Year One. These strategies include doubles, near doubles, skip counting by 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s, adding 10/100 more and less and more.

Even though some of us remember the strategies, we are encouraged to build automaticity so that we can say the answers to different number facts straight away without having to think too much!

We have also been learning about the language of chance. We know that events can be likely, unlikely, certain or impossible.

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Science:
In Term One, students are doing Biological Science (Weeks 1-5). We are investigating how living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves.

You probably would’ve heard about our new class pets – mealworms! What are they? You’ll have to stay tuned as our class is currently making a digital book using the iPads to explain their life cycle. We’ve learnt all about our new pets, including the scientific names of their body parts, their diet, habitat and how they grow and change.

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Keep checking back for more classroom updates. Leave a comment for us to read!

Week 1