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Y5 UPDATE

We have had the most beautiful start to Term 4 in Year 5. It has been so wonderful to be back together, albeit remotely, and seeing students return reinvigorated and with big smiles on their faces. We are looking forward to having an excellent final term of the year with this incredible group of students. Read on for more details about the fantastic things that our wonderful Year 5s have been working on.

Unit of Inquiry

This term, we have continued our Unit of Inquiry exploring the nature of business and the elements and understandings required for business success.

The central idea that underpins our unit is:

Businesses function on the understanding of the marketplace

We have explored the role of supply and demand in the marketplace and identifying and analysing the factors that contribute to the success of a business

Students have just begun exploring and developing their business ventures through their projects. It has been truly incredible to see the enthusiasm and ingenuity our Year 5s have shown and hear about their unique and innovative business ideas. Through this project, we have been so impressed to see how students engage in deeper thinking about the different elements they need to consider when creating their product or service. It has also been fun sharing our ideas and exploring how our businesses might benefit others and meet consumer needs.

We are looking forward to the next steps in this process, where students will be getting the chance to use their thinking and the understandings they have gained during this unit to develop their business plans and products.

It has been wonderful to see students able to share their thinking and understandings in different ways through live learning lessons with whole-class discussions and small group break out room sessions and Flipgrid videos and seesaw blog posts. Here is a sneak peek at some of the fantastic business ideas that our students have created.

Literacy

We have continued our exploration of imaginative and informative texts this term, with students building on their skills with different writing tools and techniques. It was beautiful to see students take their writing to the next level by merging their skills with varying writing genres to create unique and engaging writing pieces to suit different purposes and audiences.

Students combined their imaginative writing skills with the persuasive writing techniques we developed in our sessions to create persuasive texts about fictional ideas. Here are some examples of the fantastic writing pieces students completed recently when they made a real estate advertisement trying to persuade a potential buyer to purchase a unique, magical house of their creation. It was an enjoyable and light-hearted way to start the term and get students’ creativity and writing skills flowing!

In addition to creative and imaginative texts, students have also been involved in exploring other writing genres, including reflective writing pieces and persuasive and informative texts. We have linked this with our Unit of Inquiry. Students have been able to connect their Inquiry explorations and personal projects and how they can use writing as a medium for making meaning and expressing their understandings. This week, we have focused on developing our business plans and using written texts to justify our choices and business ideas. It has been a great way to refine students’ writing skills through real-world and meaningful contexts.

We are currently reading “ The Last Bear” by Hannah Gold in our Book Club sessions. An incredible story, a modern literary classic about friendship, forging your path, and doing what’s right. The students are so engaged in Book Club sessions. They are a prime time of the day that we all thoroughly enjoy. It is also a particular connection time where the students can sit back, listen and savour the wonderful time of being read to. It promotes more profound levels of thinking and discussion about a written text and connection and shared experience amongst the cohort.

Maths

We have all been enjoying Maths this term. Week 1, we began with Problem Solving strategies and Division. We have since moved into working with Fractions and Decimals. We are all looking at the ways of representing whole-part relationships. Fractions describe, continue, and create patterns with fractions and whole numbers resulting from addition and subtraction. The children are displaying enthusiasm and are engaged in small group workshops. It has been wonderful to see students participate with much enthusiasm during a small group workshop where they explored fractions as part of a whole using concrete materials that we found around the house.

Wellbeing

The wellbeing of all the children has been and will continue to be our utmost priority. We are aware the children are up and down in these unprecedented times and are highly affected by their induced current environment. We are trying to be reactive to their needs. We are so proud and impressed with their resilience and ability to maintain their efforts and participation returning to Term 4.

We have embedded mindfulness into our schedules and Wellbeing tasks as part of our program to help students understand the importance of taking time for their wellbeing. Last term, we held a 2 Week Spring Wellness Challenge, where we asked students to take time each day for two weeks to focus on an aspect of their health and wellbeing. The response was incredible, with students understanding that there are different elements of wellness, including mental, physical and emotional wellness, amongst many others. It was truly remarkable to see them commit to this challenge and spend time each day making a real effort to care for different aspects of their wellbeing.

We also introduced the children to Indigenous Mindfulness, a wonderful collection of First Nations sleep stories from Common Ground. They are also an excellent resource for families and children. ‘Dreamy’ is a new podcast bringing together five sleep stories voiced and written by Indigenous artists, with artwork by Carmen Glynn-Braun. Carmen Glynn-Braun, born in Alice Springs now based in Sydney, is an emerging Indigenous Australian artist from Southern Arrernte, Kaytetye, and Ammatyerre nations across Central Australia.

“We sleep and dream on First Nations lands. We acknowledge all First Peoples and celebrate their enduring connections to Country and stories.” (Jazz Money, a Wiradjuri woman who’s currently based on Gadigal Land is an award-winning poet, filmmaker, artist)

The link for the stories, or you can listen to the Dreamy podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

Homestead Activities Program

Students have been so thrilled to be part of our Homestead activities program this term. Despite learning remotely, we were so excited to offer this very worthwhile program during live lessons on a Friday. The Homestead Activities Program is an opportunity for students to choose an area of interest on offer by the teachers in the Homestead and spend the day exploring and building on their skills and understanding in this area. In addition to a range of skills developed as a result of the activity they choose, it also allows students to be self-directed and self-manage their learning and be able to engage with the flow of thinking and learning across the day. It has been wonderful to see students embrace this program and focus and challenge themselves to improve their skills in the activity they have chosen. The Activities on offer this term include French Culture, Cooking, Mindfulness+Movement+Meditation, Philosophy and Choose Your AdventureWriting. We are so proud of the enthusiasm and positive attitude that so many students are showing and are so glad that Year 5/6 students can come together and work collaboratively during these sessions.

Staying Connected

We strive to make sure that students feel connected to each other and us, and we are so proud of their resilience and positivity. It has been great to see everyone smiling and open to chatting and connecting during our live lessons. Our Check-in times at 9 am are proving valuable, and students appear to enjoy this connecting time, seeing faces, hearing voices and touching base. It is often a time of sharing, smiling, laughing, and a positive way to start the day.

We are looking forward to more fun times and engaging learning this term and are so grateful to our Year 5 students and families for their ongoing positivity, resilience and support of our program.

NICCI MURDOCH & VANESSA HODGKISS
Year 5 Homestead Teachers