Year 6 Update
2020 keeps throwing up its fair share of challenges. Despite all this, we feel we are in an excellent position to keep on keeping on! The Year 6 production of the Lion King is in full swing, whatever form it may eventually take, and it has been great to see students continuing to engage with our daily Zoom sessions.
As you may have noticed, a few tweaks have been noted to our Continuous Learning Timetable this term. To allow for greater flexibility with our specialist program, you will note that our first Zoom sessions begin at 9 am, with more frequent live lessons between 9 am and 12 pm.
The Daily Check-In
To give us more time at Circle Time, we have shifted the rundown of our daily schedule to the Check-In video. Could you encourage your child to watch this as a starting point for the day, write out their timetable, and post this to SeeSaw? This method also allows students to pause and rewind, making it easier to record essential information.
The Zoom Room is Open
Between approximately 12-12.30 each day, we will have a Zoom Room open for students to drop in and ask questions. This is particularly useful as the afternoon is set aside for independent work, so some aspects of set tasks may need clarification. We encourage students to visit if they have any questions about their work or need some words of comfort/encouragement. We'd love to help!
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Parent Teacher Interviews. This communication between home and school is vital, especially during the remote learning environment in which we find ourselves. Please feel free to contact us if you need anything, and we will respond as soon as possible.
Our current inquiry, 'Sharing the Planet,' has the central idea of:
Energy consumption requires sustainable solutions.
This concept has allowed us to follow the lines of inquiry:
- Sources of energy and how they are stored & transferred
- The impact of energy use
- Equity in access to energy
- Actions and solutions for sustainable energy practices.
Through a plethora of incursions, we have been able to meet with experts and discover much about energy sources, the impact of energy farming and harvesting, and the continued work to develop renewable energy resources.
Our students have shown their interest and passion for understanding where power comes from, the costs involved, and how resources might be shared equitably.
In both Maths and English, this inquiry connected to learning in real-life situations. We have investigated potential and kinetic energy, measured distance and area, and interpreted data. We have read articles and viewed clips to extend our knowledge of energy resources and discovered how resources are shared and used across the world. Through a variety of creative responses, we have projected ourselves into the future and wondered how the environments in 2040 might look.
Where to next?
We are thinking about innovation and how we might use resources differently or more effectively. Can we come up with a change that will help others in some way? Can we innovate to make the use of energy more sustainable?
Feedback from activities using this platform has been positive. The non-fiction articles that we have been reading have prompted discussion and have had students drawing connections between their reading and Inquiry topics. When completing written responses to these texts, it is essential that students read the instructions thoroughly, rather than make assumptions about what is required.
With a focus on text structures, we explore how a story can be planned with a 'story spine' and beats, using Pixar-in-a-Box as a resource. This is an example of the concepts we are exploring: https://youtu.be/ilDsFrcHsuI
We look forward to seeing these pieces of writing evolve over the next few weeks.
Our spelling groups continue this term, with each group focusing on an area of need and interest. The live lessons include direct instruction and discussion, and there is often an activity to follow, which highlights a skill or spelling rule. Areas of focus include apostrophe use, homophones, oxymorons, and vocabulary extension. Throughout any opportunity to write, the students are encouraged to apply their knowledge from the spelling sessions.
You may not be aware, but all Woodleigh students have access to an app called Grammarly. This is an excellent resource for editing typed work, as it will analyse writing and suggest improvements. The app is available for download via Self-Service on student iPads, or you can install it on your PC/Mac at home and log in with the Woodleigh email and password. Please let us know if you would like further information.
During Week 2, we asked students to create a 'confidence graph' of their understanding of the Year 6 Maths Curriculum. The results corresponded overwhelmingly with the information and data we had on each student's Maths ability. It allowed us to have a talking point for developing their Maths Goals this term.
After completing short, personalised diagnostic tests, we have been able to target learning areas in Maths, while keeping students involved in the conversation about what they wish to work on. This may alleviate some students' concerns about not knowing what to choose for their goals.
Our Inquiry unit this term has allowed us to integrate some of our Maths learning, around an order of operations, simple algebra, measurement in a range of standard units (including joules), and interpreting data. We are currently investigating the properties and measurement of circles before moving into determining the volume of 3D shapes.
We have also been speaking to students about the need to pace their work, especially in Maths. Where we have set tasks to be completed over a week, we have noticed some leaving them until the last minute, causing undue stress. Could you follow up with your child to help develop strategies around spreading their workload?
As we settle into a more extended period of remote learning than expected, we are acutely aware of the need for balance. This means balancing a day (or week or school term) with work and downtime. For us as teachers, setting engaging tasks is a constant balancing act, but hopefully not too stressful. We are conscious of the need to occasionally break with a timetable if necessary to support all students' wellbeing. And while routine is essential, sometimes a shake-up is required to add a little fun and spontaneity into a day.
However, it is that you are managing. We wish you the very best. Know that we are always available to chat.
JACQUI & ANDY
Year 6 Classroom Teachers