STEM Engineering Unit – Improving a Play Dough Process
We continue with our STEM Engineering unit and things have started to get messy! In this two-part lesson we asked the question, “How can we determine the quality of a play dough process and how do the play dough materials change when they are mixed together?”
We were asked to examine high-quality and low-quality play dough to identify its properties. We designed tests and recorded observations. We learnt that engineers use their knowledge of science to help them design and improve technologies. We also learnt that adding different amounts of a material to a mixture can affect the properties of that mixture.
PART 1 – Comparing High-Quality and Low-Quality Play Dough
We compared high-quality and low-quality play dough to make a snake, snowman and a cube.
We gave each play dough test a rating 1-3.
We discussed and compared how both the high-quality and low-quality play dough could be rolled, shaped and moulded. It was great fun! We concluded that the high-quality play dough performed much better.
PART 2 – Testing Play Dough Materials
Experimenting with flour, salt and water to observe the effect of different processes
Accurately measuring our materials to complete controlled experiments (e.g. 1 tablespoon flour + 1 tablespoon water and mix for 30 seconds)
Recording and comparing our observations. Some us used all our senses to make observations, even taste!
STEM Chemical Engineering Unit
This term we are taking part in a trial STEM unit which focus on Chemical Engineering. Our focus questions include:
- What is technology and how does it affect the world?
- What is chemical engineering?
- What is chemistry?
- What is a process?
In this lesson we were asked to conduct product research for a company called Creative Juices. We needed to experiment with food colouring to design a new juice colour for their delicious new favour, “Strawberry Orange”.
We had to engineer 3 new colours to use for our product research. To do this we experimented with food dye and water. The colours we chose were gold, orangey-red and neon red.
We then voted on which colour we liked best, our class chose orangey-red.
We then conducted product research by interviewing consumers (Ms Thorpe’s class). We asked them their favourite colour and why they liked it. We graphed their results. Both classes chose orangey-red as their favourite colour.
We will now recommend to Creative Juices company to make their new strawberry orange colour – orangey red. This can be made with 7 yellow drops and 1 red drop.
Mixing the dye and experimenting with colour
Trial and error to create the colours and recording our formula
Experimenting to make orangey-red and neon red. It was a bit messy but great fun!
Welcome Back to Term 4
Welcome back to Term 4. We hope you had a wonderful holiday break with your loved ones. Here is an outline of the learning students will engage in this term and important dates to note.
HASS – Our History Inquiry learning will focus around the historical story of our community. Our big question is, “What aspects of the past can you see today and how are they important?”. We will explore the history of our local community and why it is important to preserve these significant sites.
Maths – Money and financial matters, chance, fractions, division. Revision of place value to 10 000, using the 4 operations
Literacy – Revision and consolidation of genres taught (recount, report, exposition, narrative and procedure). Reading strategies explicitly taught include; inferring, self-monitoring and summarising.
STEM – Ms Tilbrook has recently been trained in a new STEM learning unit which focusses on chemical engineering. This unit will incorporate many 21st century skills and it will help children see how knowledge in maths and science are relevant to their lives. More information to follow.
Child Protection – Recognising and reporting abusive situations and secrets, privacy and parts of the body.
We will continue to develop our understanding of character strengths and our school values as well as goal setting and maintaining a growth mindset.
Thank you for your continued support as we head into term 4.
Alecia and Liz
Inquiry – Changes in Technology over Time
This term our major focus has been looking at how changes in technology have affected daily life over time, with a particular focus on toys and games. As an end of unit task we were asked to design and create a toy or game inspired by those of the past. It was great fun making our toys and we enjoyed playing the games with our friends.
Designing and creating our games and toys
Evaluating and testing our games with our friends
Having fun playing our new games together.
This term has seen many fun activities take place with Room 12. We started the term with finishing Narrative pictures books that our buddies wrote and we drew the pictures in. There were many great stories created and last week we got to share our stories with other buddies.
We also did a paper chain challenge. We were only given 1x A4 piece of paper and had to try and create the longest paper chain in only 10 minutes!
Last week we got to enjoy some of the beautiful weather and went outside to make Nature Mandala’s.
Open Classroom Afternoon – Week 5 Term 3
Thank you to those parents and friends who were able to attend our open afternoon. We had a wonderful time working together to problem solve various STEM challenges. We had to make towers that stood alone and held the weight of a glue stick. We all had different materials including straws, pegs, pop sticks, cups, rubber bands and matchsticks. Only some groups had sticky tape. It was challenging and we had to use team work, flexible thinking and perseverance. All groups were successful with their towers, some big and some smaller. Well done everyone and thank you to our adult helpers!
Maths Multiplication – Week 5 Term 3
We enjoyed playing the Array Game to help us better understand the process of multiplication. We rolled 2 dice and made an array on our game board. We then wrote the multiplication on white boards buy using our times tables knowledge or by counting up our array. The first to fill their board was the winner!
Week 4 Assembly Term 3
Students in Room 4 did a wonderful job hosting Week 4 Assembly. We shared our impressive cityscape artworks. These are on display in the foyer of the OPAL Block if you would like to have a look. Well done everyone!
SCIENCE WEEK – Week 4 Term 3
During Science week we working with Mr Simpson’s class to solve various STEM challenges. We made circuits, straw towers and chairs made of paper. We had to use problem solving, team work and persist to solve the challenge. It was great fun!
Phil Cummings Incursion – Week 1 Term 3
On Tuesday we were lucky enough to have a special presentation from one of Australia’s leading children’s authors Phil Cummings. Here are a couple of responses about the session.
Today we had a famous Author visit called Phil Cummings. Phil has written more than 40 books. He told us he has to write down things when he thinks of ideas straight away for stories. He also told us stories about his dogs. I liked the story he told us about the snake in the chook shed because it is funny. I learnt that snakes jump when they are scared. One of the books I want to read that he has written is “Be Brave Piglet”. – Sanvi
Today we had a children’s author visit called Phil Cummings. He has written more than 40 children’s books. He told us when he has an idea he has to write it down before he forgets. He also told us that most of the stories he writes are about his family or about what happens to him. I like the story he told us about Wilbur because it repeats itself and nearly rhymes. I learnt that it takes a very long time to write a book and if you have an idea about a book you should write it down before you forget. One of the books I want to read is “Chook Shed Snake”. – Amelie
Welcome Back to Term 3!
Welcome back to Term 3. We hope you all had an enjoyable holiday break. It has been a very busy place here at school over the holidays with an amazing redevelopment of the garden area between the library and the office building. Please take a look when you have a chance.
History – Inquiry
Our major focus this term will be our History topic with the big idea, “How have changes in technology affected daily life over time?”. There will be a particular focus on toys and games of the past.
Students will investigate questions such as:
“How has technology shaped our daily life?”
“What is technology and why does it keep changing?”
“How are toys and games different now to those of the past?”
We will be creating a display of “Toys of the Past” and will ask families to have a look at home for any old toys you may have, or grandparents may have to aid our inquiry investigations. More details to follow.
Other subject areas learning focus include:
Number and Algebra – Mental routines, Multiplication and Division
Measurement and Geometry – Time and Timelines, Capacity, Mass, Volume
Statistics and Probability – Data Representation and Interpretation
Real world problems developing reasoning, understanding and problem solving skills.
Writing – Genre Focus: Description, Procedure, Response. Continued spelling, grammar and handwriting focus. Writer’s notebook.
Reading – Modelled, shared and guided reading with focus on making connections, visualising, and synthesising.
Oral Language – Oral presentations, group communication and discussion, Inquiry and Assembly presentations.
Warning signs / Recognising abusive situations and secrets
We will also be focussing on developing character strengths and a growth mindset as well as mindfulness and goal setting.
We are looking forward to another productive and rewarding term with our wonderful students. Remember our door is always open if you have any questions.
Alecia Tilbrook and Liz McKinlay
Aboriginal Artwork – Term 2
Mandala Making – Term 2
On Wednesday we were lucky enough to have Alex and Michael from Code for Kids come into our classroom and teach us about coding. We learnt that coding in a language used to talk to computers to get them to do something or to solve a problem.
We had to work in groups of 3 with a Programmer, an Instructor and a Coder to code a BeeBot robot to move from one place to another along a course. We had to work as a team and have a good understanding of location which was a challenge at times! It was so much fun to see the BeeBots move along the course that we had programmed and to reach the desired goal. We thoroughly enjoyed learning how to write code and can’t wait for our next session.
Guided Reading is an important part of our program in Room 4. Guided Reading sessions occur every day in Lesson 1. The students work in groups on various reading activities to improve their reading fluency, decoding and comprehension. We have been very impressed at the level of commitment and focus our students demonstrate in Guided Reading lessons. One group will always be reading with the teacher where we explicitly focus on a reading strategy. Other groups must work independently on their reading task, this is something they enjoy and great at. Each week we focus on a different reading strategy. We have covered questioning, inferring, visualising and activating prior knowledge. Ask your students to explain how Guided Reading works in our room.
Reminder to parents that this Thursday 25th May we are having a fundraiser for Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, supporting the Cancer Council. Children are asked to bring a small plate of morning tea to share and a gold coin donation. We thank you for your support.
Welcome to Term 2!
We hope you had a enjoyable holiday break. It is lovely to see the children as enthusiastic as ever to be back at school. Their attitude towards their learning is always positive which is exciting for the term ahead.
We have begun the first two weeks of term with Invention Hour. Students use creativity, critical thinking and persistence to invent a new and improved classroom tool. Some inventions included:
- Design a new and improved chair
- Design an East Marden school lunch box
- How could you design a way to keep your tray organised
- Design and make a table caddy for class equipment
- Design and make a new bookcase for the classroom
Students had to design, test, critique their designs and show how their could alter their designs to ensure they are strong, functional and practical. Students will present their designs to their peers in an oral presentation and further critique their models. This task has been something their have all taken on with a high level of engagement, critical thinking and enthusiasm. Some photos are include below.
Here is a brief overview of what we are covering this term in Room 4.
This term our inquiry learning will focus on our Geography theme, “People are Connected to Place”. It will follow on from the work we did last term on The World.
Students will investigate questions such as;
“What does it mean to be connected?”
“How/why are people connected to their place and other places?”
“How do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people connect to places in South Australia?”
Other subject areas learning focus include:
Continuing whole number, mental routines, subtraction, problem solving, mapping and location/transformation, measurement of length and area, data analysis (collection interpretation and creating graphs). Here are some graphs we made using concrete materials. Students are learning that there are many different ways to collect and represent data.
Text/Author focus “Are we there yet?” Alison Lester
Writing focus – Exposition, narrative, description
Modelled, shared and daily guided reading with particular focus on making connections, activating prior knowledge, visualising and summarising
Weekly spelling, grammar and handwriting lessons will continue
Being safe, warning signs
We welcome Liz McKinlay to our class on Thursdays, Fridays and alternate Wednesdays to replace Anna Scales. Please introduce yourself to Liz when you get a chance.
Alecia and Liz
We have almost come to the end of a busy Term 1. What a fabulous start to the year it has been! We have been overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and excitement for learning the students have demonstrated over the past 10 weeks. Thank you all for the wonderful parent support and involvement we have had, particularly those who came in to speak with the class about your family culture and those who helped with swimming.
Our inquiry learning, centred on “Places Around the World”, has been very successful with all students presenting their end of unit posters confidently to the class last week on a country of their choice. Students gathered information from research online, from guest speakers and asking experts. We have also made connections with several schools around the world through epals.com. Students emailed questions to other year 2 students in India, Japan, Argentina, United States, Canada and Mexico to find out about life in their countries. A very powerful experience for the children.
At the end of this term we say goodbye to Anna Scales as she will begin maternity leave as of Thursday. We are currently in the process of confirming who will replace Anna for Terms 2, 3 and 4 and will share this information with you as soon as possible. I will continue to work Monday, Tuesday and alternate Wednesdays next term.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Anna for all the hard work and dedication she has put into teaching the class this term. We will miss her but wish her all the best for the exciting arrival of her new baby.
We hope you all have a very enjoyable holiday break and look forward to seeing you at the beginning of Term 2 (Monday 1st May).
Thank you again for all your support this term,
Alecia (and Anna)
Harmony Day Parade
There are Many Places Around the World
As part of our Inquiry learning we have been lucky enough to have some parents come into class to speak with us about their culture. It has been wonderful to be able to ask questions to find out more about how life is different in other countries.
Karl and Shane’s Mums came in to share information about Chinese culture. We viewed videos on the Chinese Spring Festival, lion dancing and Chinese New Year. We all had a chance to try on a traditional lion dancing costume. It was hard to operate the eyes and mouth at first but Karl showed us all.
Ishan’s Dad, Raj also came in to speak with us about Indian culture. We learnt that in North India the language is Hindi. “Holi – the Festival of Colours” is a Hindu springs festival celebrated in India where coloured sand is thrown on friends to celebrate pretty colours, the arrival of spring and to forgive others. We also learnt that traffic in India is very busy and dangerous and that lots of people are very poor.
Inquiry Learning – Places Around the World
Our inquiry focus for the term is centred around the big idea, “There are many different places around the world.”
We have three driving questions:
- How is the world divided?
- What are the features of different places?
- What is life like in different places around the world?
We have looked at how the world is geographically divided and how life is different in other countries. Part of our inquiry has been inspired by learning about the different cultures within our own class. Children have brought in various items from home and explained why they are important to them.
We loved to see the traditional clothing that Harsh, Aadahav and Sanvi brought in. We also enjoyed Ethan’s Chinese drums. Ms Tilbrook brought in a Vietnamese hat from her travels, which we all loved trying on.
We also have enjoyed listening to some parent guest speakers tell us about their culture. Ason’s mum told us about their Australian traditions and family background. We learnt a little bit about growing up in the country, in Renmark where Ason’s mum grew up.
We look forward to Harmony Week next week and learning more about the different cultures we have around our globe.
ROOM 4 UPDATES WEEK 5 1-3-17
We have had a wonderful start to the term in Room 4. Children are coming to school happy, eager and organised, which is very pleasing to see.
We have begun our Inquiry learning topic, “There are Many Places Around the World”. Students have been investigating how the world is geographically divided and the features of different places. We have been looking at maps, globes and researching online. Please take time to talk to your children about how the world is divided. Our major focus so far has been naming continents and understanding the location of the equator and the hemispheres.
Thank you to the people that have volunteered to speak to the class about your family cultural background. We really appreciate the support and encourage anyone else who would like to come in to let us know as soon as possible.
A reminder to please send in any cultural artefacts or significant items which we could use as a display and to guide our inquiry learning. These items could include traditional dress/costume, photographs, postcards, artworks, food and eating utensils, music or books. Anything at all would be wonderful.
This Friday our class is presenting an item at assembly. Some children will be sharing their inquiry work. You are welcome to attend. Assembly is at 11am in the Gym. Speak to Ms Scales for further information as to which children are presenting.
A reminder that next Friday is a pupil free day (10 March).
Alecia and Anna
The children have enjoyed getting to know their new buddies from Ms Burt’s Year 5 class. They have had 2 sessions together. The children and their buddy drew portraits of each other then added adjectives around the page.
Welcome to Room 4 Year 2!
Ms Tilbrook & Ms Scales
We have started the year with 24 curious and eager year 2 students. The focus over the last couple of weeks has been social skills. We have been developing our getting along skills, co-operation, team work and learning the importance of “filling someone’s bucket”.
One task which the children really enjoyed was creating a “Me Bag”. Students took a blank bag home and filled it with 5 items that they could use to describe themselves to their classmates. They then decorated their bag and presented it as an oral presentation. It was a wonderful way for us all to get to know each other better.
We look forward to seeing many of you on Acquaintance Night, Wednesday 15th February 6-6:30pm in Room 4.
Alecia Tilbrook Year 2 Teacher