September 23, 2008

For a blog entry with a difference I thought you might be interested in seeing a rundown of classroom activities, during a random week, in the life of Candlebark.
YEAR 9
Art:. Folio work (predominantly painting, drawing) and major essay (800 words)
Music:  Working on a research essay on Italian Composers. Each student has chosen a different Italian composer and is researching his/her music and its influence.
Maths: Revision of ‘expansion and factorising of quadratic equations’. The difference between quadratic and linear equations. Three ways to find gradients of linear equations. Solving simultaneous equations graphically. Plotting linear equations on Cartesian planes by using the x and y-intercepts in the equations.
Science: Conclusion and critique of various student experiments.
Outdoor Skills: completing Bogong High Plains projects, and reflecting on the outdoor program in 2008.

YEAR 8/9

English: The year 8/9s have been working on two American short stories – “Exchange Values” and “Nobody’s Fool”. Next week, they will write an exam-style essay in class comparing the two stories. Before the end of term, the class will also be analysing a couple of newspaper articles and writing a response to one of them.

P.E.: This term, the students have been improving their hockey skills. Most sessions have ended in fun, spirited and feisty matches.
Humanities: We are continuing with the History of the Human Race. Most recently, the Middle Ages, feudalism, William the Conqueror, and we are about to embark on the Crusades. In the absence of Year 9’s, due to their Melbourne camp, Year 8’s had a one-off lesson on the life of the Prophet, Mohammed.

YEAR 8
Maths: Year 8’s are finishing a unit on linear equations, y = mx +c and gradients.
Science: Various ongoing activities including the chemistry of solutions and building chain reactions.
Music: Writing music to fit certain poems; students will be notating these using a computer program shortly.
Art: Two things on the go: Dance projects final filming and editing, and Folio work (including sculpture, drawing, painting, ceramics).
Spanish: This week we are looking at Spanish card games – terminology of game play. (last week looked at various perspectives on bulls and entertainment in Spain) – basically been doing a splish-splash of stuff.
YEAR 7/8 Spanish: Learning numbers through interesting statistics of the Spanish speaking world.

YEAR 7

Spanish: Futsal continues (marked improvement in their skills last week!)
English: A study of the application and function of symbolism and metaphor, with reference to the individual and collective unconscious, in literature and film.
Art: Three things on the go: Folio work (including sculpture, drawing, painting, ceramics), dance project filming and editing, and long-term film project.
Humanities: exploring different types of maps and map reading skills (scale, distance, direction, etc.).
Science: Conclusion and critique of individual student-formulated experiments.
Music: Working on a research essay on a song of their choice. This includes discussions on aesthetic values, why do we prefer certain sounds/styles etc., and use of musical terminology.
Maths: We are working on directed numbers and estimation – involving perimeters, area, angles and length, as well as strategies to improve estimating .  Also, revising tables where needed, and different methods of problem solving.  More work on directed numbers next week, as well as exam practice to identify individual needs.

GRADE 6

Music: Two group compositions based on Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’ – bringing to life what happened to the figure before, during, and after the scene shown in the painting.
Spanish: Learning how to play chess in Spanish, + continuing  futsal skills (fastest growing sport in the world!)
Maths: The year 6’s have been learning about measurement (eg hectares, finding the area of a triangle, etc). To enhance their understanding of the size of things, the students have been working out how many smaller areas fit into a much larger one (eg Romseys into Victoria, Australias on the world’s surface, Amenities Buildings in the Tye Estate, etc).
English: The workings of the unconscious in creativity, as seen in everything from Peter Pan to Duel and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Applications to writing.
Science: Studying the nutritional value of various foods, understanding food labels.
Art: Theory essay and folio work (including drawing, ceramics, extended 2D and 3D stop frame animation)
Humanities: We are completing the presentations of individual projects.  Each student has undertaken to research a significant past culture and to present a PowerPoint presentation which answers the following:
Why was this culture significant? What sets it apart from others? What were significant buildings, artefacts or achievements?  Describe daily life for wealthy or poor members of this society.
Show when in time this civilisation began and ended. Give a possible reason for its decline. Describe the achievements of several significant people from this civilisation. Show where this civilisation existed.
We will move on to memorising the countries of Oceania/Australasia via a computer program.

GRADE 5

Music: The students have been experimenting with composition and notation for a range of instruments using a computer program and are now moving into learning guitar chords.

Art: Designing and producing images for Picasso cow competition. (With Zan) Colour, form, and theory. Subject, Picasso. Language, Spanish.
English: The Year 5s are currently revising commas and the “ay” sound (ai, a_e words) in an effort to improve their spelling. Following a unit on the media, the class is now further exploring the concept of objectivity by writing TV ads that they will perform/explain to the class. Using the Fitzroy Readers, Kris Tautkus has started working with small groups (2-3 kids) on a weekly basis to further improve reading/comprehension skills. This program will include all students.
Humanities / Tutorial: selecting and completing small tasks about a country of choice, presenting the collected information as a poster.
Science: investigating the human body, working from the top down – constructing brains with modelling clay, completing experiments to test reaction times, learning how the nervous system works.

PE: different games each week. Some have worked, others haven’t!
Maths: Estimation involving angles, length and perimeter.  Also working on specific needs regarding tables learning, long multiplication and division.  Order of operations work was done on Friday and will be continued next week.  Aiming also to do design work involving paper stained glass window effects this week.

GRADE 3/4
Maths: The Grade 3/4s are just about to embark on measuring the area of various shapes and surfaces.  They will be making 1 m x 1m squares out of newspaper to measure the size of the classroom floor, the table, the blackboard etc.  They will use 1cm x 1cm transparent grids to measure the surface area of leaves, sharpeners, their hand prints, and so on.
English:
Identifying (own) most effective Haiku poems to write and illustrate on a A4 poster in best handwriting. Extending work on ‘magic’ e in spelling and looking at adding ‘ing’ and ‘ed’ to these words.  Create Fete poster. Relate poster layout knowledge to own Fete stall and create effective poster which shows thoughtful layout, appropriate writing and headings, costs, items to be sold, etc.  Fitzroy Workbooks on one day.
Music:  Ostinatos, “Chatter with the Angels”, musical arrangements, recorders,  developing their understanding of Solfa, developing their understanding of  musical notation.
Grade 3/4 Humanities: modelling and mapping Victorian Goldfields, and investigating the gold rushes of the 1850’s from different perspectives (immigrants from Europe and Asia, and indigenous Australians).
Science: Making batteries and studying how various electrical circuits work.
P.E.: This term, the students have been learning how to play hockey. This has included learning to dribble, pass, push/hit, and to play responsibly.
Art: Focus on body/ face  – painting various Picasso faces. Making stop motion animations.
GRADE 2

Science: This week we are exploring sound under water
English: The Grade 2s have been working on writing stories from a first person perspective. They have been following the journeys of ants outside the classroom, and writing accounts of these journeys from the perspective of the ants. In grammar, they have been concentrating on the use of full stops and capital letters.
Maths: In Maths, the Grade 2s have been concentrating on area, and learning their times tables. They also counted the entire takings of the fete, which came to over $1377.40!
P.E.. The Grade 2s have been enjoying some ‘exclusive to Candlebark’ games, such as Binball and Broom Hockey. Different students have been responsible for planning and co-running PE sessions. They are focusing on working well in a team.

Art: Extended 3D stop frame animation, (some with student-made soundtracks)
Tutorial: designing and constructing water bottle rockets for flights during the final week of term.
Music: Coco’s Samba, Latin music, rhythm, rhythmic notation, composing their own rhythms.
Humanities: Have just finished a major unit on the world continents where pairs researched, used continent outlines to show foods, buildings, geographical features, flags, language, and countries of chosen continent.  All presented their posters to the class last week.  Now, we will work on values – related to age, culture, situation.  Act out and discuss behaviours and examine our own values in relation to these.

GRADE 1

Maths: The Grade 1’s have worked on becoming familiar with different coins and their value, with a focus on handling money at the fete. They have also been playing games that reinforce their understanding of place value with 2 digit numbers, and creating their own maps.
English: The Grade 1s are working on story telling.    They are currently preparing a finger puppet show based on two of Aesop’s Fables, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.  They will show these at the morning meeting Monday.
Music:  Solfa, via “Do a Dear”, recognition of recurring patterns in simple traditional folk melodies, basic notation concepts.

P.E.: Over the last couple of weeks, the Year 1’s have been performing drills and playing games that incorporate the skills they have been working on over the year. These skills include throwing/catching, jumping, and learning to play soccer and hockey.
Science: Studying sound and vibrations, making musical instruments.
Humanities/Spanish: This week we are looking at names of things to do with Spring + revision of colours and numbers.
Art: Extended 3D stop-frame animation, (some with student-made soundtracks)

PREP

Music: Basic musical concepts: call and response, beat, recognition of patterns, extending their personal repertoire of songs, quiet listening.
Science: Understanding how the natural environment around the school functions.
Art:  Sculpting and shaping with clay
P.E.: The preps have been enjoying learning new games in P.E., and are enjoying Crows and Crocodiles, Cat and Mouse, Tails and Scarecrow Tiggy.
Humanities: After working on the Olympics, the Preps have moved on to a study of Australia. This has involved reading Australian stories, looking at maps and drawing Australian wildlife.
Spanish: A mixture of hands on activities covering animals, games, colours and numbers – this week playing number and colour games.
Candlebark Discovery: last week – class pictionary (working in pairs, one student drawing an object while the other attempts to guess what it might be), this week – either paper making or some work with seeds in the garden.
English: The Preps are writing self titled stories using words and sounds that they are able to read.
Maths: Addition and subtraction to 10 and 20; talking about and using money (in preparation for the fete); and sewing a number book.

Dance
In Dance the students are beginning to learn dances for the end of year performance. The year 7s and 8s have been working on their dance videos and earlier in the term all students and most teachers were recorded for the whole school dance video. These will be shown at the soiree next week. The year 9s are working hard to finish a dance using movement they have created. This dance will also be shown at the soiree.

That’s a sample of what we’re doing!

All the best and thanks for reading, from John