Homestead Group News
What an unusual but eye-opening last few weeks we have shared! We celebrated Mother's Day and Commemorated ANZAC Day in different ways this year. Where possible, we have tried to focus on the positives of the current situation by reflecting with an 'open-mind.' Our Year 6 students reflected on some of the highlights of this experience;
"We are living through an experience we will remember in history" Alexia
"Our pets are thrilled, and we are enjoying gourmet lunches at home" Marlowe
"We have smart and helpful doctors in Australia" Emma "We are improving our skills and hobbies" Isabella H and Lottie
"Pollution levels have reduced around the world" Max S "By staying home, we are focusing on keeping healthy and trying new things" Olivia
"Our IT skills have improved so much, and so quickly" Charlie N and Anthony "Not being as rushed in life" Allegra
"Spending more time in the vegetable garden" Josh "Australians may try to source more Australian made items" Essie
"We have realised how grateful we are for so many things" Isla "Seeing how hard our Government is working" Lily
"Movies being released early on streaming devices!" Max R
The experience has been an immense learning curve for all involved, and as a staff group, we have reflected on how we may use successful elements of the past few weeks to support our students moving forward. We have been amazed at our Homestead students' creative adaptability and how they have shared their learning.
However, the countdown is now on, and we are all excited to soon be back together in our Homestead building at the beautiful Penbank Campus.
We would like to again thank all of our parents and families for their support in implementing the Continuous Learning Plan at home. We know that many sacrifices were made to re-adjust workspaces, timetables, and family commitments.
A fan-favourite this term has been our recent Grand Designs maths project. Centred around the mathematical concepts of measurement (mapping, area, perimeter, and scale) and geometry (drawing three-dimensional shapes from a given perspective), the students worked hard to design their dream isolation-bunker. What started as a 'bunker' emerged into some exquisite 'mega-mansion' designs!
Tasks ranged from drawing a birds-eye-view floor plan complete with a key to furnishing a room within a budget, landscaping, to filling an entire room with imaginary m&ms and then working out how long it would take you to 'eat' your way out! Katherine's clinic group is now working to finalise their designs on Co-Spaces.
It is safe to say that all of the maths have some budding architects and interior designers in the Year 6 cohort.
Over the past few weeks in Year 6, we have explored and discussed attributes of positive leaders, decision-making processes, various levels of Government in Australia, and their differing responsibilities and explained how citizens could bring about change. We've also shared some great texts that explore these concepts. (Insert book cover images). Next week we will conclude our inquiry focus, 'Citizens may have the potential to influence decision making' to move onto our final unit for the term, 'Sharing stories of migration can build compassion and understanding.' Our recently concluded class novel 'Parvana' provides the perfect segue into this next topic, with many characters leaving war-torn Afghanistan to move to neighbouring countries in search of a better life. (Insert Parvana image)
Within our next inquiry focus, we will investigate the reasons why people migrate, the impact of migration on people and places , and how telling stories of migration can build compassion & understanding.
Working within clinic groups, our Year 6 students are currently constructing either a narrative story or an informative advertisement.
Our students working on narrative stories are participating in a 'travelling story write.' Working in groups of two or three, they each constructed Chapter 1 of their own story, before swapping drafts, reviewing the first chapter and adding a consecutive section that fits with the existing storyline. This process will continue until the narrative is finalised.
Another group is working to produce an informative real-estate advertisement to sell their 'Grand Design bunker' that they developed within their maths project. We have reviewed the features of ads online and will work to construct our own digital 'For Sale' advertisement.
In our live literacy-based Zoom sessions, we have focused on vocabulary selection, use of paragraphs, maintaining consistent tense, and editing strategies.
Thank you, everyone, for your continued support during these interesting times. We are all learning so much about ourselves and the way we approach change and discomfort. We are also looking forward to returning to school so we can interact and speak face to face with our friends, whom we have sorely missed.
We are attempting to make the tasks engaging for students to complete independently without constant parental involvement. We know how busy you are well. Your positive feedback has appreciated.
Our live sessions have seen the students interact and complete many tasks while being able to chat with each other. It has been a time of creativity – in teacher-created jobs and student presentations of their work. We have been impressed with the engagement of many.
Funky Friday has given everyone a laugh for the end of the week. There have been PJ and hot chocolate days through to the students teaching each other something new.
Our inquiry unit of Sharing the Planet has led to deep thinking, and engaging discussions about the human impact on our various ecosystems changes the students deem as necessary and solutions they could be involved in or create their own solutions.
We will commence a unit on How the World Works before the end of Term 2. Our central idea will be: 'scientific principles and knowledge can be used to understand and solve problems.' This follows on well from 'Sharing the Planet.' Our key concepts will be form, causation, and responsibility.
Our big literacy idea has been about communicating information to an audience.
It will continue. We have looked at different texts and focused on writing informative and persuasive texts. Many of the tasks we do linked to our inquiry unit. We will continue to expand our vocabulary and learn English language rules to help us in our writing and reading.
We have had many successes in mathematics so far this term, with some terrific thinking and problem solving occurring along with some impressive bookwork submitted. Our focus has been on exploring the relationships between addition and subtraction and perimeter and area, identifying patterns, and using our knowledge to solve multi-step worded problems or inquire into provocations.
We began the term by mastering number facts through some fun dice and card games, which proved a hit with the whole family. We then learned the formal process for adding and subtracting more significant numbers and calculating the perimeter and area of regular and irregular polygons. Once we had all of this background knowledge, it was time to test our mathematical reasoning and problem-solving abilities through some '3-Act' tasks and 'ReSolve: Maths Inquiry' resources. The students showed an excellent ability to translate the skills they had learned and apply them to problems by accurately estimating, then calculating and proving their solutions. They used tables and graphs to organise their thinking and were methodical in trying to find every possible solution.
Honestly, we have some tremendous young mathematical minds in Year 5!
Technology is playing a more significant role in our lives at the moment, and we are learning to record our efforts in new and exciting ways to share. Zoom lessons are where we interact and have the most engagement.
We wish you all a wonderful holiday and look forward to catching up soon,
ASHTON, MICK, LORRAINE & MATT
Homestead Classroom Teachers