Older News  » Zentangles, Magic Squares, Virtual Holidays and MORE in 5/6J

Last updated 10:23 PM on 27 July 2015

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In our classroom:

We have been working our way through the Seven Steps to Writing Success, breaking down the main steps of the writing process into practical-sized chunks. We have had a lot of fun letting our creativity run wild, writing sizzling starts, using dynamic dialogue, banning the boring bits and tightening the tension. We've even been using drama to bring our writing to life.

Maths should be fun and that's our goal in 5/6J. Recently, we all went on a virtual holiday to either Fiji or Noosa. We budgeted in airfares, accommodation and other essentials before working out how much "fun" we could afford to have and how many family members (or friends) we could take with us. We've ditched boring old rote learning of times tables for visual times tables – a faster and more interesting way of learning those all-important number facts.

Do you think you could solve a three-by-three magic square? 5/6 can solve three-by-three and five-by-five magic squares in no time. Many have even solved nine-by-nine and 13 by 13 magic squares. Rumour has it that some clever clogs are close to cracking 45 by 45 magic squares! What that means is that all 45 rows, all 45 columns and both diagonals add to the same number simultaneously!

We've been having a ball in Art with Zentangles. Check out some of the photos. They're amazing. Several teachers have commented that they think they're good enough to be displayed in art galleries. I agree. J

Our performance earlier this year at our Star of the Month assembly was inspired by the QANTAS Children's Choir's performance of Peter Allen's "I Still Call Australia Home". The children looked fantastic and performed the song with enthusiasm – and in tune! We hear it even brought a tear to Miss Weeks' eye. (Bless her patriotic little heart.)

We have learnt about how the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme not only provides many farms with much-needed water for irrigation, it also provides us with huge amounts of renewable energy. We have researched the various ways that electricity is generated and considered the pros and cons of renewable versus non-renewable sources of energy.

In Technology sessions, students have thoroughly enjoyed working with Scope IT and learning how to code. This is an important part of the curriculum, especially when we consider that the majority of jobs our children will be applying for may not have even been created yet. Preparing our children for future technology is a vital aspect of their education.

Learning should be engaging and exciting. With that in mind, our homework is designed to be holistic and recognise the uniqueness of each student's home life. The students are given some consolidation tasks. However, these are balanced with art, music, sport, helping out around the home, playing games with family and friends, building things out of paper, pop sticks and recycled materials, cooking, tidy room competitions, and so on. Some of the homework tasks are chosen by the students themselves – they are actively encouraged to come up with their own ideas. Our homework is designed to make students want to take responsibility for their own learning – and thereby reduce stress for parents.

In preparation for high school, students in 5/6 are called to further develop these necessary qualities:

•             Independence

•             Self-discipline

•             Strong organisational and time-management skills

•             Enthusiasm and a desire to do their best

•             Consideration and cooperation

•             Responsibility and ownership of their own learning

•             Taking pride in their work

•             Learning how to learn and how to think for themselves


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