‘Fizzics’ Incursion

“POP!” High pitched screams exploded in the classroom as orange shards of balloon flew towards us. This was one of our favourite, intriguing experiments which we were able to observe. On the 16th of March we had a Fizzics incursion. This was a great opportunity to extend our knowledge about the properties of solids, liquids and gases. In particular, we really enjoyed learning about the properties of liquid nitrogen.

We found out many facts about nitrogen, like that 78% of the air we breathe is nitrogen. We also found out that nitrogen (N2) is colourless, odourless and a tasteless gas. Nitrogen is boiled at 196º celsius. Whilst having a great deal of fun, there were many lessons that we learned.

Our ‘science teacher’ Ben had fascinating demonstrations to share with us and taught us a lot. He poured liquid nitrogen into a cup and a cloud came out of the cup and then dropped downwards. We wondered why it dropped down and didn’t rise. We learned that the nitrogen condensed, (the molecules clumped together), got heavier and therefore dropped downwards.


Ben then put the liquid nitrogen into a tin and then put the lid on. The lid popped off with great force. We learned that when gas is heated, it expands. The gas molecules in the tin warmed up quickly causing the nitrogen gas to expand rapidly. The pressure in the tin then built up causing the lid to pop off.

One of the demonstrations which we really enjoyed was when Ben put liquid nitrogen into a bottle. He placed a lid on the bottle but the lid had 2 plastic straw ‘vents’.  He then placed the bottle into a cup, half filled with water. The bottle spun around rapidly, letting out cold nitrogen gas from the straws like a sprinkler. We learned that water transfers heat, so when the bottle of nitrogen was placed into the water, the gas in the bottle quickly heated up. The gas then expanded rapidly, building up a huge amount of pressure in the bottle.The gas needed to escape. It escaped through the two straws which were placed opposite each other, out of the top of the lid of the bottle. When the gas poured out of the two straws, it caused the bottle to spin around. Ben told us that this was an example of Newton’s Third Law of Motion which states that, ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction’,

Even though there were many explosions and squeals of delight (or fright) during the incursion, all of us will now not forget Newton’s third law of motion.  ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’

By Eva, Eleanor and Cordelia

TEAR ~ What is it?

Today Year 5 were challenged to think about the letters in TEAR. What might they stand for?

TEAR Australia is a charity that we have supported at school for many years and will do again this year. The girls brainstormed possibilities. They had lots of fantastic ideas as you can see. A few clues were needed to get some of the actual meanings (which, by the way, is Transformation, Empowerment, Advocacy, Relief.)

We talked about what these words mean to us and how they fit into the work of TEAR. Our new central idea is “We can express ourselves through our beliefs, values and actions.” Can you see how the work of TEAR Australia might be connected to our learning? Please comment and let us know what you think.fullsizerender-157

Have you ever thought about who made your clothes?

Year 5 have been thinking about this question in our new Unit of Inquiry. We brought in a favourite piece of clothing and looked at the labelling. It tells us where it was made and what it is made from but not who made it. We saw a video that showed us that a lot of clothing in Australia is actually made overseas in countries like China, Cambodia and Bangladesh. We wonder why this is and if it is a problem. Are the people who make our clothes paid fairly? Do children make clothes in some countries? We are hoping to find out some answers to these questions. Here are some posters we have made to promote our question.

“Those filled with life need not be afraid of tigers”

Year 5 have finished reading a wonderful book called ‘Dragonkeeper’ by Carole Wilkinson.


It is the story of a slave girl called Ping and her journey with a dragon called Danzi. We have found it to be an entertaining book and one that has taught us some life lessons. Some of us have made posters about the lessons we have learned from Ping and Danzi.

The book is also full of wise and sometimes curious sayings from Danzi. The title of our post “Those filled with life need not be afraid of tigers” is one of these sayings.

Jaemi and Dakota think that it means : people who are living life confidently, proudly and happily are not to be fearful. Wise words indeed girls.

We have tried to figure out what other sayings from Danzi might mean. Here are our posters.

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!”








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?



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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Welcome back to Term 3

I hope that you are feeling refreshed and relaxed after your winter holidays.  We are ready to start another busy term. I really enjoy the break from the rush of my life during term time and I find that I have more time to think and to read, to talk with family and friends, and to catch up doing lots of good things that don’t get done in term time, like going to the movies. I also know that I have missed being at school and being part of your learning journey.

I know some lucky year5rc members have been overseas and interstate and others have stayed at home like me. I hope you are all ready to travel back to Antarctica to continue our learning about that amazing continent.  We are continuing are investigations about microorganisms in Science, launching into the new term’s novel study, venturing out to the Art Gallery of New South Wales and much more.  There is plenty on the horizon so the beginning of term is a good time to look at how far we have already come in 2011.

You have all been taught lots of things but I wonder how much you have learned?

My challenge to you this term is to really take seriously the idea that you can take control and be in charge of your own learning. No-one else can do it for you. There are plenty of people to help you along the way but actually it is up to you.  Will you take on my challenge?

International Feast Day and our trip to the city

We had an amazing day on our last Wednesday of term, giving our country presentations to the other classes and feasting on all the delicious food everyone had brought from home. We also enjoyed a skype call to Miss T’s Year5/6 in New Zealand. We discovered that they are just like us! Not really that surprising, since we are all the same age and live in a similar part of the world. Our feast day was a great way to end a busy term in Year 5. We have learned about many things and have enjoyed getting to know one another. As a teacher I love to see the excitement that happens when students really get involved in their own learning. I saw this in Term 1 when so many of you took to edmodo like ‘ducks to water’ and have really embraced it as a great interactive learning tool. I particularly loved the contributions in the Frindle forum when students took on the role of characters! It was entertaining and insightful, a great example to me of how engaging technology can be. I wonder what the highlight of the term has been for you? and for your parents? Please comment to let us all know.

On Tuesday we travelled by train to the centre of Sydney to sing at the Easter in the City festival run by Fusion.  We sang well, enjoyed lots of fun activities and only got a little wet in the rain. It was lovely to have so many parents enjoy our performances.  This short movie made in Animoto shows you some of our day.