Classroom Inspiration

Friday, 19 June 2015

Five for Friday - What a term!!

Hi! It's been a while! I honestly can't remember a term that has been as full on as this one. There have been a number of things that have been happening that have contributed to me feeling super busy and a little overwhelmed. First and foremost I am now a home owner!! I am extremely terrified excited to now be part of the population that has a mortgage. Well not so much the mortgage part... I am also still studying (one semester to go, one semester to go, one semester to go) and I am the literacy coordinator as well. So lots happening!!

Today I'm linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. These things didn't all happen this week, it's more of a catch up. 
I thought to kick it off I'd share a photo of my little home :) I hope you like blue... I don't! I will be painting it as soon as I can. It's also in need of a new fence and a little work inside, but it's mine, and I've got plenty of time to fix it up. 
Our Inquiry unit for this term was all about Portland in the Past. We learnt so much about our special little town and the part in played in the early history of Victoria. As part of this unit the little wonders created murals depicting the different stages of Portland's development and presented it to the class.

The first group did 'Portland Before Settlement'
They included lots of native animals, aboriginals and their huts, as well as weapons the aboriginals would have used. 

 The second group did 'Edward Henty Arrives in Portland'.
They included sailing ships in the harbour as well as people whaling. They placed Henty's wooden shack on the grass, complete with pony paddock. 
 The third group did 'Early Life in Portland'.
They included the beach huts that lined the foreshore, pony rides on the beach, the train and train track and a lot less animals. They also placed our church up on the hill. 
 The last group did 'Portland Today'. 
They included the port, smelter, boat ramps, hospital, playground and skate park. This group went above and beyond with the detail in their mural. To be fair they were the group with the most knowledge about what it looks like. 
I was very impressed with how all my kids worked in groups and cooperated to get their mural finished. They delegated jobs such as painting, research and drawings. 

Whaling was a huge part of Portland's past and was an industry that we learnt quite a bit about. The little wonders were quite adamant from the beginning that they didn't agree with this process. As a response to what we had talked about, the children had to decide wether whaling was 'good' or 'bad'. Needless to say they all chose bad. They then had to come up with reasons why they chose this stand point and write them on these adorable whale outlines.
One of our art focuses this term was collage. I have recently found an AMAZING website called Deep Space Sparkle that has absolutely fantastic art ideas that are organised by technique and grade level. It's run by a super talented art teacher named Patty who has a plethora of incredible art lessons available for free as well as paid options. We used her Foil Turtle and Fish Collage lesson to create these aluminium foil collages. 

Our writing genre for the past few weeks has been information writing so we began our unit with a whole class focus on frogs. You could ask my little wonders absolutely any question about frogs and I'm confident they could answer it. We listened to songs, watched videos and read books about frogs to learn as much as we could. 
At the beginning of the focus I created this display at the back of our room. It had all the stages of the frog's life cycle as well as key words they kids were able to access when they were writing. 
(I'm secretly loving the heck out of it!)
 To finish our frog focus we created these froggy diaries on TPT that were created by Teacher's Breathing Space. I love how they are written from the frog's point of view. It was such a great way to see how much the children knew about all the stages of the frog's lifecycle. 

FYI if you're doing anything about frogs, watch this video about metamorphosis and this one about amphibians. My kids LOOOVED them!
Another art activity we have done this term was based around a book by Kevin Sherry called 'The Best Artist in the Ocean'. It's about a giant squid that loves to be artistic and messy, despite the complaints of the other animals. We did a guided drawing of our squids, before painting them with water colours. Once they were dry the little wonders went over their grey lead lines with black ink. I have done this lesson before and the kids just love it. I love how different all the squids look, and how CUTE!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out what we've been up to. Hopefully next term will be more settled and I'll have more of a chance to keep up with it all.
Head over to Doodle Bugs to check out what everyone else has been up to.
Happy blogging :)