Day 2 is underway

Everyone is well rested and ready for breakfast.
This is what the girls have to say about camp so far….
“The camp leaders are really nice.”
“We have done lots of fun activities on water and on land.”
“The food is nice and the beds are comfortable.”
“There are so many opportunities to challenge yourself.”
“There’s lots of space and a big lake – in fact it’s the biggest saltwater lake!”








Smiles All Round

As the sun sets at Lake Macquarie there are smiles all round from 48 happy girls.Everyone has been a champion today. Daring to give everything a go! The photos tell the story. The sun has set, teeth are cleaned and the cabins are quietening. Tomorrow will be another day filled with challenges and laughter.

The Identity Game – is it multiple choice? or a game of chance?

Student reporters : Ashley F, Sienna F, Kayley, Grace, Mia M, Louisa, Holly M, Maddie and Imogen.FullSizeRender 83

In UOI we have been focusing on our central idea, which is, our identities are ever evolving. This means that as you get older your identity changes and evolves during your lifetime. We also have lines of inquiry around the central idea that help us understand it. The lines of inquiry are ‘Influential figures can serve as role models for us’, ‘Our beliefs, values and traditions impact who we are’ and ‘Our identity is shaped by our choices, actions and circumstances.’ There are also concepts around the central idea, which are responsibility and change.

To start off the unit we were given two photographs, one of an older generation and one of a more modern generation. Some of the questions we asked about the women were “What were her daily routines?” “What is her role in the family?” “Does she have a political opinion?” “What level of education has she completed?” and “What does she value?”


After answering these questions we then had to write down what our values and beliefs were. Some of the main points people wrote were Friends, Family, Home, Books, Food and drink, kindness and equality.

We also conducted an interview. We had to interview two people from different generations and we found out that they both had very interesting answers to the questions we had developed at school.

“I learnt a lot of things in my interviews including that my mum had a blackboard at school!” 

We grouped all the factors that we found in our interviews under the headings Events, Influential People and Circumstances.

We learned that your identity can evolve in many different ways. Our identity can change depending on your beliefs, people, life choices and circumstances and our own actions.

We also watched an amazing video about two men who serve as role models to the homeless and to the rest of the world. These men came up with a brilliant idea about doing the homeless people’s laundry for them, and it won them the young Australian of the Year award this year!

orange sky

We also learned everyone changes but sometimes we change slower or faster than others. We are all unique and different and have our own identity.

We continue to wonder:

How will your identity continue to develop?

Can you pick the major influences on your identity now?

What things will happen in the future to change your identity?

Who is in control of the choices you make?




Inspiring role models

orange sky

Our student reporters have been busy this afternoon after watching an inspiring video. Here is what they have to say:

Mia writes “Today we watched a video of two young men called Lucas and Nic.  They have created a mobile laundry system where they go around and help homeless people who can’t do their own laundry or can’t afford it. These young men are role models to younger people who have good ideas like them and want to share it with the world and help those in need.”

From Maddie, “Today we we wrote about the Young Australians of the Year. They helped the homeless by washing their clothes so they can wear clean clothes for meetings or to get a job so they can then perhaps have a house to live in.”

Issie says “Two young boys called Nic and Lucas won Young Australian of the Year for washing homeless peoples clothes! Only 20 years old, Nic and Lucas have managed to make homeless peoples’ lives that much better by washing their clothes for them.”

And this from Tara, “Today, after lunch we watched a really interesting video about these two young men named Lucas and Nic. These two young men had set up a non-profit charity organisation. They called it Orange Sky. In this organisation, they put two washing machines into a van and drove around to homeless people and washed their clothes. These two young men are only 20 years old. And for this great act of kindness, they were made Young Australians Of The Year. Our teacher asked for our reaction to this video and this is what some of my friends said:

“It made me feel guilty because I felt that I wasn’t doing all that I could.”

“It made me feel happy, because all of those homeless people were getting clean clothes.”

“I felt really inspired and now I feel that I want to do more.”

“I felt pleased that some people were helping people in need.”

What do you think about Nic and Lucas’s idea? Does it inspire you?



Welcome back!

It is the first day of a new school year. New teachers, new students, new classrooms. We are really looking forward to a fantastic year of learning together in Year 5. We hope that you will subscribe to our blog so you can keep up with the exciting times ahead of us.

Today we took part in a TEAM BUILDING CHALLENGE.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.27.06 pm

With planning time, building time and some challenges thrown in (2 mins working one handed, 2 minutes working without talking!) we all succeeded in building a tower that was free standing (even if it only lasted a moment!). We all managed to support the table tennis ball. Our tallest towers were 67cm. Here are some of them.


We had a great discussion after we finished the task. We thought about challenges that we faced and what we had learned about teamwork. Here are a few of our discoveries.

“When our plans didn’t work we had to come up with a new plan.”

“When challenges happen you have to problem solve together and communicate well.”

“We were limited in materials but we found solutions.”


We think that good teamwork needs:

Cooperation & collaboration, enthusiasm, open-mindedness, great communication, creativity, collaboration, taking risks, persistence, give and take, and confidence

That sounds like a great recipe for success at whatever we try to achieve together this year.

Do you like teamwork or do you prefer to work alone?





Best Student Blog Nominations!

Mrs Miller and I are delighted to see 4 of our year5rc students nominated in the Edublogs Awards for 2011 or Best Student Blog.

Check out the complete shortlist here.

Congratulations to Angie, Dawso, Tess (Green Zebra) and Esha

Please take the chance to vote for one of these students.  Vote here.

Blogging has been an exciting adventure for them. Thanks to all of you who have helped them make the shortlist.

And the winner is….

Year 5 have been very involved in Maths lessons this term. Their job was to create a movie that would teach a maths concept to other students. Topics were selected, ranging from graphs to Roman Numerals. Students worked in small groups to create a short film, then take it on tour to our quadblogging buddies. They had to plan a trip around the world, calculate time and distances then leave comments on the quadblogs. It has been a very engaging and interesting project for the end of year. Some teams found that being a teacher is not so easy, teaching needs to be clear and simple to get the message across. Our finished movies have been posted to  Thanks to Mr Avery for creating this fabulous site.

Today was the day of Maths Film Festival.  8 films were nominated in the category of Best Film.  These were viewed and students voted in Edmodo.

And the winner is…..

Pascal’s Triangle by Sophie and Nat year5rc from Pru Thomas on Vimeo.

Congratulations to Nat and Sophie!

The Peoples Choice Award goes to

Sammy, Paris and Taylor for their film about Chance

Paris Sammy Taylor Chance year5rc from Pru Thomas on Vimeo.


Turning the tables – homework for parents

As Year 5 nears its end for the class of 2018 it is good time to reflect on the year’s learning.  This is a worthwhile habit that we have encouraged the girls to reflect on all year and now, as part of this fortnight’s homework, your daughter will be asking you to read this blogpost, leave a comment, and answer a brief survey.

Mrs Miller and I hope that we have offered your daughter a safe and happy learning environment, rich learning experiences in which your daughter has been encouraged to be more independent and a sense of belonging in a (usually) cohesive peer group.  When difficulties have arisen academically or socially we hope that we have helped assist your daughter by encouraging resilience, persistance and practical methods for solving problems.  We hope that we have encouraged your daughter to explore ideas, to think of others and above all to be kind and respectful. As well as to work well in a team, to begin to look outside the familiar and to develop good habits for life long learning.

We are also interested in your perception of how we are communicating to you. Do you enjoy reading this blog? Have you read the notices coming to you via edmodo? Are you now addicted to Twitter? Are you hoping your daughter continues to blog next year? Have we challenged you to think and learn in new ways?

We welcome your comments about the year that has been Year 5 for your daughter. Please feel free to raise issues of concern as well as satisfaction. Some particular areas for comment would be learning experiences, student progress, work habits, learning support for individual needs, parent involvement etc…  Please feel free to comment via this blog or, if it is more suitable, an email to Mrs Miller or myself would be fine.

The issue of homework is always a vexed one for students, parents and teachers.  We are always striving to achieve the right balance. We would very much appreciative your feedback about homework via this brief survey. Please click on this link. Click here to take survey Thank you for your support and assistance.

Evidence of great thinking about mobile devices

Thanks so much to everyone who has responded with your thoughts relating to our post about using mobile devices in the classroom. Mrs Miller and I have been most impressed by the logical and well-reasoned arguments that many of you have raised.

Your responses show me that you are developing excellent critical thinking skills, and are looking at all sides of the argument. I also really like the way that you have read each other’s replies and used that to extend your own thinking. Everyone raised really clear points and was able to support your thinking with examples.

It was also great to have a few parent comments because often adults have quite a different perspective. It was also clear to me that lots of you had discussed this at home which was great.

This issue of mobile devices in schools is very topical at the moment. Sometimes it is called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and is seen as the move away from 1:1 laptop programs (like we have in Year 5 & 6). It will be very interesting to see where this develops in the future and what happens at our school.

Photo by Dan Callahan Creative Commons licence

Why not ask friends and family at other schools about what is happening in their classrooms? Do they use laptops, ipads other devices in their classrooms? Are they provided by the school or do they bring their own?

Let’s continue the discussion

Reflections on the break from school that wasn’t quite what I had planned…

On Monday 26 September when I woke up with a tummy ache I thought I had my usual school holiday illness. (This often happens to teachers because they work very hard for a term and the body says “relax” in the holidays). But things progressed and I had my appendix out on the Thursday, 5 days in hospital and now I am recuperating at home.  The point of this post is not to have you worry or fuss over me at all but I want to tell you what has been happening during the holidays when I haven’t been able to get out the door.

It is an amazing world we live in.  I was meant to speak at the ASLA conference with Mrs Miller on Tuesday but joined in with what was going on there via Twitter and edmodo. I would have gone to another great IWB conference called ‘See Share Shape’ on Thursday and Friday with 5 teachers from our school but again I could follow what was happening via Twitter from my bed. All this via my iphone.

As well as my own professional development needs being met I have been able to link in to what many of your have been doing in the holidays. I have done this in a few different ways.

  • Our various edmodo groups have been visited regularly by a few girls who have been extending their learning through the holidays. Some of your have joined the new Global Classroom 4-6 group and have been introducing yourselves to students in the USA and NZ.  This is like an edmodo pen pal group with the aim of students getting to know one and chatting about things that are important to you.
  • My google reader keeps bringing to my attention the many students who are blogging regularly about what you are up to in the holidays; there have been posts about things we’ve done at school, reflections on your term and more.  All of this is unprompted by any teacher which makes me realise that you must like blogging and are using it as a tool to create your own learning.
  • I was thrilled to see many of you mentioned in the Blogs to Visit post at the edublogs Student Blogging Challenge.  This means that edublogs thinks that your entries in the variety of challenges on offer are good ones and are being recommended for others to read! Well done to those girls who have a mention.
  • Our Quadblogging buddies have also been busy reading and writing comments for us and I was delighted to receive this tweet from Mr Gagnon at Stratham Memorial in America. He said ” Whenever I want high quality blog comments from my class all I have to say is Australian style comments. LOL :)” That is great to hear that your comments have been so well written and are great examples of what comments should be.
  • The Blogger’s Cafe is continuing to receive many hits and comments from students around the world, as does our own blog here at year5rc

It is indeed an amazing, connected world in which we live.  I think back to my school holidays when I was in Year 5.  I probably didn’t go away, I might have gone to see a movie and had a friend over to play. Most of the time I would have been hanging out with my brother at home.  (Speaking of my brother look and see what he has been doing these holidays.) In 1970 we had a television, could listen to music on records or tune in to the radio. Don’t get me wrong these are good things to do as well and I would encourage you to go outside and play but in 2011 there are so many choices available to you. What I really hope is that Mrs Miller and I are helping, teaching and guiding you in sensible choices for a balanced and enriching life!  I look forward to seeing you all back at school for more creating, learning and growing together!

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