In our current Unit of Inquiry we are looking at different Asian cultures. The girls did not know what our new unit would be about. To arouse their interest and begin the process of asking questions, they were shown six objects that were covered up. On a large sheet they were asked to think about what the object might be and what it might be used for. Then they wrote down questions they wondered about the object. Once the covers were taken away, they were able to see clearly what the objects were and make connections to see if they could work out what the topic was going to be for our studies. We had some fantastic questions and the girls are enthusiastic about learning more of the country they have chosen.
Some of the girls in Year 4 have been reading ‘Layla Queen of Hearts’ by Glenda Millard. In the book, Layla is described as ‘an arm about the shoulders, a candle in the dark or like golden syrup dumplings for the soul’. The series of books about the Kingdom of Silk are a great read. One of the girls in our class and her mother followed the recipe in the back of the book and made golden syrup dumplings. No one in our class had tasted them before. We all agree they were delicious. See how satisfied we were.
Year 4 have been having fun measuring many different items in grams and kilograms.
On Monday morning while we working the doors suddenly flew open and in streamed students from Year 6 who obviously decided that their classroom was not where they wanted to be. They moved us from our desks, took over our lockers, used our equipment and were particularly rowdy. Our reactions were extreme annoyance, anger, disbelief and astonishment. They finally left and we had to put back the pieces. We discussed our reactions in detail and shared our feelings. We started think about the way the Aboriginals must have felt when they were invaded by the British.
Today we had a visit from a veterinarian named Karrie who works at Taronga Zoo. She spoke to us about the way she helped discover the reasons that some species of animals were becoming extinct. There are many different changes in the environment that are causing the problems. She also is looking at ways to help animals that are in risk of becoming extinct by looking after them in the zoo and helping them to breed. One area she is particularly interested in is Christmas Island. Many of the small lizards have disappeared due to the introduction of non native animals. We had plenty of questions to ask and are interested to inquire more about the reasons that some animals are becoming extinct.
We had some fun making a picture of a person or a robot with tiles. Then we drew the picture on to grid paper. Finally we worked out the perimeter, that means the distance around the outside. Some of us made designs that were very tricky to work out.
“Layla had been sent to comfort them after Tishkin went away; like an arm abut their shoulders, a candle in the dark or like golden syrup dumplings for the soul”. from ‘Layla, Queen of Hearts’ by Glenda Millard.
One of the reading groups in Year 4 has been reading this book for novel studies this term. We have been looking at the changes that a disability can bring to family life. Many of the girls had not tasted golden syrup dumplings, so a kind grandmother made some for the class to enjoy.
This term in unit of inquiry we have been learning about life cycles. So our class got two spiny leaf insects, male and female, so we could watch their life cycle. The female is named Juliet and the male is named Romeo. Unfortunately Juliet passed away but we are going to get another female. They live in an enclosure in our classroom. We change their leaves every day and spray them with water every second day. Because no one is here on the weekend we have to spray them straight away on Monday morning.
Here are some facts about stick insects:
A scientific name for a stick insect is Phasmatodea.
Most stick insects eat eucalyptus leaves and the Australian wattle.
Stick insects are mostly found in tropical areas.
The female produces over 500 eggs.
There are around 150 Phasmatodea in Australia.
There are 3000 stick insects left in the world including ours.
Ants carry the eggs because they have knobs that they eat.
It takes 5 months for an egg to hatch.
Stick insects can play dead when threatened by a predator.
Stick insects mainly live on leaves up in trees.
by Veronique and Annabelle
Celebrating Australian Cultures on PhotoPeach
Each student in Year 4 has reflected on their learning in 2013 by conducting an interview with ‘their Year 4 self’ – an interview which in later years, may be fun to revisit!
In Year 4, we know that reflecting is a valuable process which deepens our learning. It enables us to apply past knowledge to new situations and identify areas for improvement and growth. We can get to know ourselves better.
In summary, reflecting on our learning can help us to:
- better understand our strengths and weaknesses
- celebrate areas in which we have achieved
- identify and question which approaches to learning worked best for us
- challenge our ideas, feelings and actions
- acknowledge areas of concern in which we feel that we still lack understanding
- recognise areas in which we could improve
Our interview questions have helped us to reflect on:
- our friendships
- our general learning goals and how well we have achieved them
- Inquiry units which we have particularly enjoyed during the year and why.
- Maths investigations we have most enjoyed
- English learning experiences which we have most enjoyed
- excursion / incursions which we have found enjoyable and beneficial
We will soon be sharing some students’ interviews with you.