Years 5 & 6 Group News
Welcome back to a very different looking Term 2! Together we have all embraced the challenge of trialing a new online platform and a new way of teaching and learning. During this period of transition, we have been so impressed with the willingness, flexibility, and initiative shown by our students. Thank you for being so patient and supportive of us during these unusual times. Please know that we are here for you and will try to help when we can. The level of engagement for students will vary, and that is okay. Let us know if your child is having difficulties.
During our tuning in sessions, the students have been completing a variety of activities ranging from daily mission cards, to dressing up, to setting goals. These will continue throughout the term where we can. We are conscious of overwhelming the students at this stage.
Our Unit of Inquiry this term is 'Sharing the Planet' with our central idea 'Interdependence within ecosystems can be connected to their features.' Through inquiry sessions, we will be exploring different ecosystems and how animals have adapted to live in a variety of biomes. We will also consider the impact humans have and the solutions and actions we can take. We are commencing with artificial ecosystems like those in Zoos. Our Maths project asks the students to design their zoo using the parameters given. The students have already completed several activities leading up to these ideas.
Our Literacy focus is on narratives and persuasive texts for writing where we will explore the written arguments of a piece and the position the writer has taken. The elements of report writing will be revised and included in our projects. Our reading is also part of our project work with an emphasis on comprehension and reading deeply to answer inferential questions.
Our Maths focus is on the big idea of addition and subtraction being related. To initially explore this concept, students are building their mental computation speed through dice and card games. It has been most pleasing to see parents getting involved and playing the games with their children! Once basic number fact fluency is gained, the students will move towards written methods for solving addition and subtraction problems of increasing complexity. We will also explore measurement through perimeter and area, which will link to our project for the term. Students will learn how to calculate the perimeter and area of regular and irregular polygons.
The students are thoroughly enjoying their specialists' subjects. Janine's art lessons have focussed on 'lines,' and this week will be about ANZAC day. The students were engaged in learning the names of sports in Indonesian with Prue. Learning about 'duration,' 'pitch,' and Garage band has been the theme in Music with Esther. Drama with Katherine is always popular, as you saw with her 'box' activity. The students are missing the Library face-to-face with Anne but are enjoying the activities she is setting about Shaun Tan's "The Red Tree." Playing Dice AFL had the students exercising and having outdoor fun. Morning dance has also been popular. It has us all up and moving in the mornings.
Look out for our upcoming activities, encouraging mindfulness and gratitude, something essential for us all at this time.
After last term's feedback, we knew that the children would be missing interacting with their peers. We set out to address this and found "Flipgrid,"; a platform that allows students to post a video reply to a provided prompt and also viewed each other's postings! The feedback after day one was very positive! It was great for us to see and hear how everyone was coping and what they had been up to over their holiday break.
Our inquiry focus this term is centred around the idea that 'Citizens may have the power to influence decision making.' Through inquiry sessions, we will be exploring positive leaders and leadership within Australia and our democratic system of government. We'll then contrast this with other government systems around the world. It has led us to our class novel this term, 'Parvana' by Deborah Ellis. The story shares the struggles of a young girl named Parvana, growing up in war-torn Afghanistan amidst the Taliban invasion. We have shared sections of our class novel online, and the students have identified similarities and differences in their current circumstances, compared to those of Parvana.
Our Literacy focus this term will be on persuasive and informative texts where we will explore the main argument/s of a piece and the position of the author. We'll be exploring persuasive and emotive language, both in text and through multimedia. We look forward to hearing the voices of our Year 6s as they tell us their viewpoints on issues close to their hearts. During these times, it is an expectation that students are reading independently for half an hour each day.
Our Maths activities and projects will focus on real-life problem solving with addition and subtraction. We have commenced a maths project this term 'Grand Designs' that includes measurement (area and perimeter), aspects of design, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. Maths activities and games will also encourage revision of both mental and written addition, subtraction, and estimation strategies.
Janine's art activity last week focused on the element of line. Through a YouTube video, the students examined self-portraits completed by various artists who had all used a different style of line work. With this inspiration fresh in their mind, the students then created their artwork. It was great to see so many varied pieces with such different styles of line incorporated.
We are looking forward to a great term, albeit unusual.
MICK, ASHTON, LORRAINE & MATT
Year 5 & 6 Classroom Teachers