Clay

A few weeks ago we both attended a fantastic professional development at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery with Ben Richardson from Ridgeline Pottery. We experimented with clay creating figures, bowls and plates. We used natural objects such as rocks and sticks to design our pieces. Back at school we gave our students some small balls of clay to create a self portrait in 5 minutes. The results are beautiful.

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Play at home

This weekend I had plenty of time to play! Miss E and I tried a few different new play experiences and had a ball cooking!

We made some soft dough which was magnificent! So soft and smooth and easy to manipulate for a 2 year old.

Soft Dough:
2 1/4 cups corn flour
1/2 cup shampoo
Food colouring
A few tablespoons of water

Mix together and play

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Class Debate

 

As part of our learning on homophones and homonyms, this week we had a close look at that pesky trio to, two and too.

After using our mini whiteboards for lots of practice, a problem was then presented (supposedly sent from The Official International Bureau for the English Language)…

“TO/TWO/TOO – there are TOO many! You have TO decide which one must go so we only have TWO!”

In small groups, students were asked to decide which word we could do away with and to provide reasons for their decision. This created some lively discussions and students had to think deeply about the meaning and usage of each word. As always, creativity was rewarded and points went to one team who suggested a brand new word for the number two – ‘mog’. Brilliant!

We debated the final result as a whole class and had fun doing so. A particularly convincing example highlighted concern for Shakespeare, as without ‘to’ his famous line would be a little lacking – ‘…be or not be that is the question…’ Not bad for 10 year olds!

I’ve used the debate format only a few times before. After a lesson on measuring length we debated that millimetres were too small and therefore unnecessary. I would love to hear of any interesting debate topics you have used in your classroom to elicit critical thinking and reflection. Please share!

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Q and U

Q and U

In spelling this week my Grade Fours celebrated the wedding of Q and U. This memorable occasion was, of course, to remind students that these two letters are always together in words. Students worked together in small groups to design and construct a QU wedding cake out of plasticine.

Some groups even challenged themselves to decorate their cake with QU words – can you spy a question mark, an equals sign, an antique chest of drawers, a queen’s crown and a quaint man’s black hat?!

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Here’s hoping this creative, hands on task will strengthen their spelling skills and see them never separate Q and U again…’til death do they part!

Chameleons

How do chameleons change colour?
It turns out this question in very complicated! Our students had all sorts of ideas, from what they eat to the colour seeping into their feet… We watched the animation of The Mixed Up Chameleon by Eric Carl and then used Sharpie black markers and Kindergarten Food Dyes to create beautiful chameleons. We chose to use the dyes as they have such vibrant colours and are easy to apply.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7ch1277quZo

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Autumn Colour Matching

IMG_1989 IMG_1992Autumn Colour Matching

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Students were asked to find an inspiring natural object from the playground. They then experimented with mixing paints to create an exact colour match. They recorded the original colours used, along with a swatch of their new colour. These new colour inventions were then given unique names (‘Dragon’s Eye’ and ‘Hardcore Rock’ were my personal favourites). The perfect activity for the changing colours of Autumn and it also connected beautifully to our learning around colours as adjectives.