Exercise, Cycles and Decimals – the Lowdown from Year 4

Unit of Inquiry

A highlight of the past few weeks in Year 4 has been the culmination of our last unit of inquiry, How the World Works, with the central idea – systems in the human body support it to function effectively.

Our students worked hard in their team groups to devise exercise plans for the junior students at Minimbah. They collaborated, organised, researched and used their understanding of the body’s systems to come up with cohesive 20-minute exercise plans. It was amazing to see their leadership skills come into action… although our first session exposed a few issues. Our students realised that when working as a team to run these exercise sessions, they would really need to delegate roles and responsibilities to ensure a smooth session. This reflection ensured that our second session went far better and our students shone. This was a wonderful connection back to our first unit of inquiry, where we learned about decision-making processes within groups. The feedback from younger students was that they absolutely loved the sessions, and they would love to continue with them to build up to the team athletics.


Our final writing unit of the year follows the process of ‘open-cycle writing’, where students have agency over the type of writing they would like to pursue, choosing audience, style, and purpose and moving through the cycle of writing all the way from the developing of ideas, to publishing. We have students writing recounts of amazing overseas trips, thank you letters, narratives, songs and even school reports for… their teacher. It is a joy to see their love of writing, senses of humour and independence shining through this experience. Please enjoy the first short snapshot from Oli’s incredible piece of work, inspired by the novel, The Wild Robot.

Voosh! Thwash! went the waves. It was a stormy evening in the middle of the horrid sea. A rusty cargo ship was roughly sailing the seas carrying three thousand robots. All of a sudden, a big tsunami hits the sea like rain pounding against the ground. The ship starts rising in the air. Crack! Crates start soaring through the sky. One blue crate landed on the grey spiky rocks, where a pack of wolves were hiding.


Our current unit focuses on fractions and decimals and their relationship to our number system. Fractions and decimals are always areas where students find significant challenges, so it has been wonderful to see deep conceptual understandings develop through repeated exposure to concrete materials and different representations of fractions. We often use ‘fraction talks’ as one provocation to deepen student understanding of the relationship between fractions. We look at a picture and talk about what we notice. Here’s an interesting one for you to explore together at home. What do you see in this picture?

Year 4 Teacher