YEAR 5 UPDATE
We can't believe how quickly the term is going as we move towards the end of our time with the Continuous Learning Program. Although it has brought many challenges, there have also been some great successes and many memorable moments. It has been wonderful to see the resilience and open-mindedness that our Year 5 students have shown in adapting to this new way of learning. Many students have been able to get into the new routine, and we have enjoyed seeing their faces and staying connected during our Live Learning Sessions.
We have seen some fantastic work from students over the past few weeks. We know that our Continuous Learning Approach has been a result of a partnership between home and school, and we are very appreciative of all the support you have given to our program. Your feedback, open communication, and encouragement has been remarkable and have allowed us to adapt and best cater to your child's needs. Please don't hesitate to contact us about challenges or any positives your child may be experiencing, both during the Continuous Learning Program, and as we move again towards the face to face teaching.
As we continue our Continuous Learning Program for the next few weeks, we still want to remind all students of the importance of protocols around expectations and etiquette around our Live Learning Sessions. It includes being punctual, listening respectfully, and to be in a space with minimal distractions. These are all skills that we hope to maintain during this time and when we return to school.
Unit of Inquiry
'Interdependence within ecosystems can be connected to their features'
Our Unit of Inquiry saw students explore ecosystems and their unique characteristics as well as the concept of biodiversity. We have now moved into the phase of our Inquiry, which has focused on exploring ecosystems and what humans can do to make a positive difference. Students have been exploring the concepts of function, causation, and connection through tasks, activities, provocations, and thinking routines.
We have been so impressed with the level of thinking, analysis, and creativity that students have demonstrated throughout this unit. They are excited to see these skills culminate in their Personal Inquiry Investigation Projects. These projects have allowed students to express their understanding in meaningful and creative ways in an area of personal interest. This is a beautiful way to conclude what has been an in-depth, thought-provoking, and useful Unit of Inquiry.
Moving forward, Year 5 will be exploring how 'Scientific principles and knowledge can be used to understand and solve problems.' If you are or know an expert in the field of science, please get in touch with us as we would love to get your insights and learn from your knowledge and experience.
During our English sessions, we have explored the structure and language features of persuasive texts through the concepts and provocations associated with our Unit of Inquiry.
We have used several provocations to help develop students' persuasive techniques. They have been explicitly focusing on reasoning, elaborating, and using more complex persuasive devices, such as ethos, logos, and pathos. We have been impressed with students' ability to use these devices to elaborate and strengthen arguments and to engage in practical reasoning in the form of letters and also during speaking and listening tasks. The coming weeks will see us further explore and apply more complex persuasive devices and techniques.
Our reading has been focused on developing and strengthening comprehension strategies, accurately identifying facts and details in more complex informational texts, exploring key vocabulary, elaborating, and summarizing. These skills have been built through skills-focused small group workshops and a range of learning and comprehension tasks. The past few weeks have also seen us begin our new Book Club/Book Chat sessions, which have been enjoyable and a great tool to help support, enrich and build students' reading experience and enjoyment.
Mathematics has continued to be a balance between skills-focused and mathematical Inquiry. We have explored measurement and number through a range of learning tasks and small group workshops based on students' unique needs and interests. It has been wonderful to be able to use provocations from our Unit of Inquiry to fuel our mathematical investigations. We have been amazed at how quickly students are learning the skills of problem-solving and problem finding by identifying mathematics in real-world situations.
Our exploration of 'Ecomaths' has seen students identify, explore and investigate mathematics linked to ecology, which is a remarkable skill that allows for direct application of the mathematical processes we have been learning during our skill-based sessions to real-world and real-life situations.
We will continue to help students' strengthen the skill of identifying intriguing and more complex mathematics in the world around them throughout the coming weeks.
Wellbeing and Mindfulness
During the changes and challenges that have arisen over the past few months, we have been very aware of the impact this has on the wellbeing of our students. We have placed wellbeing and engagement at the forefront of all that we do and will continue to do so as we move through the term and the year.
We are very aware of the impact that this time has had on our students, and, as such, we have made mindfulness and gratitude a regular and essential part of students' check-ins and Homeroom Live Learning Sessions. Through our Mindful Monday check-ins and other wellbeing initiatives, discussions, and tasks, we have been encouraging students to take time out to be still mindful. We understand that even returning to school may produce some challenges and elicit some difficult emotions; we will continue to make mindfulness a regular practice. We encourage you to please reach out to us and let us know if you have any concerns or suggestions.
Once again, we appreciate your support as we move through this very different time in teaching and learning. If you need help or clarification about any of the points mentioned here, or if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out and let us know.
We wish you all the best.
NOELEEN MARTIN & VANESSA HODGKISS
Year 5 Classroom Teachers