Group News – Homestead
Doesn't it feel like the past few weeks have just 'zoomed' past? Since we last touched base, we have had a busy, fun-filled few weeks online. Week 7 was a highlight for many with our annual Book Week celebrations taking place. We enjoyed sharing the incredible dress ups, decorative hairstyles, and artistic face paint that the students and their families put together through the webcams. Our Seesaw activities for the week celebrated all things literacy, from book quizzes, shared stories, and illustration design competitions to the highly comedic staff performance! The feedback from students, parents, and staff was terrific. We felt that the week was perfectly timed and brought around a lot of fun and laughter. Now to focus on the last few weeks of Term 3 before we tick off yet another term.
Will a global pandemic stop CREATE?
CREATE is a celebration of artistic expression and a focus on how the arts enrich our lives. Regardless of the pandemic and remote learning challenges, these fundamental concepts are relevant to our students' lives.
CREATE is not only about the final performance. It is about the children immersing themselves in their chosen art form, connecting with other like-minded children, and experiencing the creative process. Katherine will contact you soon to give you more information about this exciting program for our new families.
With great excitement and eagerness, our Homestead students met with Katherine last week to commence the brainstorming process for this year's CREATE presentation. We acknowledge that this process and outcome will likely look very different this year. However, Katherine is still excited to provide student agency and ownership of substantial opportunities throughout the creative process. As many of you are well aware, CREATE is an evolving process, and Katherine will keep us up-to-date with important dates along the way.
Inquiry – Year 6
In Year 6, we have just commenced our next inquiry focus, which will relate to the transdisciplinary theme of 'How We Express Ourselves.' Our Central Idea, which we will delve into over the coming weeks, is, 'People use creativity to express meaning and connect with others.'
We started with a class discussion, asking what the word 'creativity' actually means, and how we can show it through our hobbies, jobs, and interests? Have a look at some of the responses posted to our Year 6 Padlet.
Over the coming weeks, and into next term, we will explore these lines of inquiry:
- How people use creativity to express meaning
- How people connect with others through creative expression
- Using our creativity to express meaning & connect with others
As learners, we will be thinking about what it means to be an open-minded, communicative, and reflective learner.
Inquiry – Year 5
'Where We Are in Place and Time' has been our transdisciplinary theme. The students have continued to explore history with our key concepts of connection and perspective. Looking for evidence to support texts and discussing this from several perspectives has been very interesting. We are now planning and working on a research project related to our interests in history. The topics the students have selected are varied, and I can see we are going to learn a lot from each other when we reach presentations.
We included poetry and music into this subject, where the students have created poems and chosen songs to analyse. 'From Little Things, Big Things Grow' by Paul Kelly allowed us to learn more about the Aboriginal Land Rights in 1966. We looked at the perspectives provided by Lord Vestey from Britain and Vincent Lingiarri. We discussed contrasts and similarities and how they varied because of their particular backgrounds and experiences.
In the Homestead, we have been further consolidating concepts in multiplication and division through targeted number fact practice and skill acquisition to build number fluency, followed by complex thinking and problem-solving by looking for connections between mathematics and the real world.
Games, times table races and ability-level clinic groups have seen many in the Homestead setting personal bests and gaining new skills and understandings. Year 6 also had a brief foray into symmetry where they followed a brief, selecting from geometrical shapes, and fractional quantities of the grid squares in their maths books to create a symmetrical artistic design.
Through the 3-Act Maths Approach, we have recently investigated the best way to determine the value of an enormous pile of money, which led to side investigations involving budgets, spreadsheets and currency conversion. While our latest inquiry had us looking in our pantries and counting kilojoules and calories in an attempt to determine how much of a single type of food would add to 2000 calories. There were some fascinating finds, and some students went on personal inquiries to create a daily menu with a kilojoule count. A delicious and eye-opening investigation!
In response to viewing the documentary '2040', the Year 6 group composed a written informative piece as a response. Using the research skills of observing details and recording information, they referenced innovative energy and sustainable resource practices. During the drafting of this piece, we focused our attention on paragraph structure and the use of topic-specific vocabulary.
Both groups in the Homestead have been exploring the wonderful world of poetry. The Year 6 groups tried their hand at blackout poetry, selecting and retaining choice words from a section of text and blacking out the rest, often with profound results. Cinquain poems also provided an illuminating and insightful encapsulation of our last inquiry, focused around energy.
The Year 5s have been reading and composing free verse, cinquain, concrete and haiku poetry.
During literacy sessions and Book Club Zooms, the Homestead students have appreciated class novels including;
- Tom Appleby Convict Boy – Jackie French
- The End of the Wild – Nicole Helget
- Secrets in Stones – Mary Anning
These novels have been read and discussed with students with reference to the themes and concepts that link to our fields of inquiry.
In Book Club, the Year 5s are currently reading 'The Year the Maps Changed' by Danielle Binks. This is related to our inquiry unit and is set on the Mornington Peninsula in 1999. It covers the refugees arriving in Australia and being given temporary asylum at Point Nepean. The characters are the same age as our students, giving them another perspective of a life so different from theirs.
As part of the Book Week responses, the Year 5 students recommended a book for others to read. Have a look at this link and you may find a new book to dive into!
Again, we would like to thank all of our parents and families for your on-going support, patience and creativity at home. Thank you for helping to set up a supportive learning environment to ensure this term was successful for all involved. We hope to be back on campus, face-to-face with the children in Term 4. We cannot wait to have our classrooms filled with chatter, laughter and even the "but what if…" questions again. However, we may very well miss that 'mute all' button at times!
LORRAINE, MATT, MICK, ASHTON, FRANNY & KATHERINE