Term 4, Week 3, 2016 – Learning Snapshot

Hi everyone,

Here is some of the learning undertaken last week…

Investigations – Guided Inquiry: Our Community

As you know, during Weeks 1 and 2, students focused on what they know about their community, creating artefacts and writing to share with the visiting friends and their classmates.

On Monday last week, the whole class enjoyed viewing a ‘My Story’ created by Owen and Lindsay. The boys had worked with a teacher during Week 2, to access Google maps in order to get an idea of where Grovedale fits into the global community.

Later, we discussed what ‘community’ means. A community is the place we live, work and play! There are different kinds of communities: urban, suburban and rural.

We talked about why it is good to live in our community.

Jack: ‘We do fun things’.

Indigo: ‘You can live next to your favourite place’.

Conner H: ‘We have hospitals’.

Ruby J: ‘We have playgrounds’.

Will H: ‘We can go to the beach’.

Willow: ‘We can play netball’.

Zaidyn: ‘We can play cricket’.

Indigo: ‘We can paint’.

Following this we set off on a Community Walk to get us thinking about things we want to find out about our community.

On return from our walk, students brainstormed questions about things they wanted to find out:


Later in the week, they used books, apps and teacher selected videos to find out about their questions. Below you can view one of the selected videos.

Students also used this app in an effort to answer their questions:

Tune in to future posts to see what they find out!

Writing -Narrative focus

Students continue to stretch themselves when writing, according to their own individual focus (eg. using spaces; using upper case letters to start and full stops to finish; writing a whole sentence or more than one sentence; experimenting with punctuation). In addition, as a group, they continue to enjoy exploring different genres of writing. For example, they wrote recounts in Weeks 1 and 2, of their holidays and of the Prep Activity Night; revisited procedural writing while planning their gourmet pizza construction, and narrative when they drew and wrote their own ‘problem’ for a shared read aloud story.

Last week, Preps delved further into narrative text construction. Some experimented with writing a complete short narrative piece including a character(s), setting, problem and solution. You can read some of these in one of the posts coming up next week.

Others explored creating a solution to a problem. These students took part in a shared read aloud. The teacher stopped reading just before the problem in the story was solved and it was up to students to think, talk, draw and write their own solutions! We loved hearing their ideas for how they thought the story should end!

Next, they created their own character as a group using a new app named ‘Character Creator’. Each student thought up a sentence about her, told a friend and wrote it down.

Maths – Introduction to Sharing

After a warm-up whereupon student were required to share themselves equally between chalk circles in home group, they heard and created number stories as an introduction to the idea of sharing (division).

You can enjoy this new learning with them below by viewing the iMovie.

Below is a You Tube clip containing animated sharing stories your children might enjoy. Why not make up some of your own at home?

Have a great week!

The Prep Team


Term 4, Week 2, 2016 – Activity Night Highlights & Learning Snapshot

Hi everyone, 

The highlight of last week was Activity Night! After careful consideration during Week One of favourite pizza topping combinations, games, music and place mat decorations the Big Night finally arrived…

Activity Night

Writing – Recount of Activity Night

During Writing Session the next day, students were asked to share their favourite thing(s) about Activity Night.

Maths – focus on Number

Last week in numeracy sessions, students enjoyed a range of hands-on experiences. These were designed to help them construct understanding and develop fluency across a variety of areas in the Number and Algebra content strand of the curriculum. For example, skip counting, addition, writing numerals correctly, sequencing non-consecutive numbers in ascending and descending order and place value.

Speaking and Listening

As you may remember from last week, ‘The Friends’ are visiting us from overseas because they would like to learn more about our community. We are really enjoying hearing all about what they are finding out as they visit each student in turn!

Conner H kept a holiday journal during the September holidays. Prep B loved hearing about his fun adventures!

Investigations – Guided Inquiry: ‘Our Community’

Last Thursday, students separated into three groups to share their work of the last two weeks with friends. 

Transition (Preps of 2017)

We welcomed next year’s Preps into their future learning space last Friday morning. We enjoyed getting to know next year’s learners as they explored the classroom, listened to a story and finished off with a sun sparkled play on the Prep Playground. The second transition session for children enrolled for Prep next year, is tomorrow from 9am to 10.30am in the Prep Room. While the Transition session was in progress, our current Preps spent a happy two hours with their Year 5 Buddies in the Sipod! Tomorrow, our Preps will spend some time visiting the Year 1 & 2 Games Expo while Transition is in progress.

Well, that wraps up the week that was! 

The Prep Team

Term 4, Week 1, 2016

Hi everyone,

It’s great to have the Preps back at school, full of holiday stories and bursting with enthusiasm for all of their learning experiences! The first week of Term 4 passed in a flash – here is a snapshot of the learning that took place…

Writing – Holiday Recount

Writing – How to make MY pizza (for Activity Night)

Maths – focus on number

Students learned how to use the ‘Show Me’ app to record findings about doubles they investigated. You can share this some of this learning by clicking on the links below:

Willow’s ‘Show Me’

Oliver E’s ‘Show Me’

Ruby T’s ‘Show Me’

Later, they used their new doubles skills to play a game with a partner.

‘Doubles Plus One’ game sourced from: http://mrswheelerfirst.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/math-games-on-fly.html

Maths – Statistics and Probability

Preps put last term’s learning about collecting and interpreting data to good use to assist in planning their upcoming Activity Night! They surveyed each other to find out which games, songs and TV shows are liked by classmates. Then they worked with a teacher to interpret the results, coming up with the most popular answers. This information will be used by teachers to plan Activity Night fun!

Investigations – Guided Inquiry

A new unit of work was commenced last week with the theme of ‘My Community’. You may remember that in Term 2 we were visited by some special friends, like Luna the Green Tree From from Brazil, Taj the zebra from South Africa and Ning the panda from China. In Term 2 we were inspired to learn about the countries and cultures of our visitors. This term, they have come to learn about our community! Students put their thinking caps on to share what they think is important about Grovedale. You can share in some of their thoughts below.

Oz Opera

We were fortunate to enjoy an Oz Opera production last Friday. The opera, ‘El Kid’, was based on the story of ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and held all students enthralled. In the days leading up to the performance, students enjoyed a read aloud of the well-known fairy tale and listened to some of the musical score from the opera. They also participated in whole group read alouds of a social story designed to help them know what to expect at the event. All students were congratulated on being an appreciative and polite audience. Well done, Preps!

Well, it’s been a wonderful first week back! We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

The Prep Team

Fun Learning Tips for the Holidays

Hi everyone!

If your kids are stuck inside on a rainy day looking for something to do, why not try some of these ideas?


Below is a selection of games/ideas using everyday objects/situations. All you need is one of the game boards (you could draw up your own together), 2 six sided dice and some colour pencils.

(These ideas are credited to the website: http://mrswheelerfirst.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/math-games-on-fly.html).

You may need to help your child match numerals with number words. Have some objects available so your child can ‘make’ the numbers if s/he would like to do so (eg. marbles, buttons, pasta, match sticks).

As mentioned in previous holiday learning tips, link maths to everyday activities. This term we have focused on addition and subtraction.

Tell each other number stories using concrete objects. For example:

Addition stories

  • If you’re shopping for groceries together ask your child to help select items like fruit or vegetables and turn it into a number story – ‘We’ve got 4 bananas in the trolley and we need two more. How many do we have altogether now?’. Addition strategies can be used according to your child’s needs – counting all, counting on, number facts, doubles, doubles and one or two more. Students have mostly worked with numbers between 1 and 10 when engaging in addition, except when counting on because knowledge of the verbal counting sequence supports them to work out these problems (eg. ‘There were 42 monkeys in the tree and one more came along, so there were 42….. 43 all together’.

Subtraction stories

  • Or, ‘We baked 12 muffins and ate 4. How many do we have left?’. Encourage your child to count the items that are left. If you are drawing subtraction stories like ‘There were 8 frogs on the log and 4 hopped away. How many frogs were left? ‘ have your child cross out the frogs that hopped away and count how many are left.

Make your own ten pin bowling game at home (using empty water/soft drink bottles and a tennis ball). Encourage your child to say how many pins s/he started with, how many got knocked down and how many are left (eg. ‘I had 10 pins, I knocked down 5 so I have 5 left’).


As always, enjoy reading lots of stories together! A love of reading helps children develop into lifelong learners! Following on from our excursion to see the live show of ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’, you might like to visit the library and begin to explore other classic works of Australian literature together. Some ideas are:

  • ‘Seven Little Australians’ by Ethel Turner
  • ‘The Magic Pudding’ by Norman Lindsay
  • ‘Blinky Bill’ by Dorothy Wall
  • ‘Dot and the Kangaroo’ by Ethel Pedley

Dust off some of those Magic Words games/activities you already know, like:

  • Magic Word Snap
  • Magic Word Memory
  • Magic Word Treasure Hunt
  • Take turns to pull a Magic Word from the hat/bowl and put it into a (verbal) sentence
  • Motorised Magic Words – place some Magic Words next to your child’s train set tracks/toy car circuit and have him/her say the Magic Word as the vehicle passes the word
  • Use chalk to write Magic Words together on the path in your yard
  • Look/Say/Cover/Write/Check


Keep a holiday journal

Whether you are heading off on far flung adventures or staying home for the holidays, your home group would love to share some of your journal entries when you come back to school for Term 4!

Tell each other stories!

  • Make storytelling dice like we did in Week 8 (print off paper 3 paper dice templates (see link below) or try small empty boxes; use magazine cut-outs or your own drawings to create one ‘character’ die, one ‘settings’ die and one ‘special object’ die; take turns to roll all three dice and weave a story for each other! Encourage your child to use storytelling language to open the story (eg. ‘Once upon a time….’; ‘One sunny/wet/windy/snowy day…’; ‘Once there lived a …..’; ‘A long time ago….’)
  • Draw your story – stories have a setting, a character(s), a problem or challenge and a solution. Encourage your children to draw a story in three sections or boxes: introduction of character/setting; problem;solution. If they wish, encourage and help them as needed to add writing to their story

Link to paper dice template (when you follow this link, click on ‘printables’ and then search up ‘dice’).

Performing Arts

Why not have a look in your garden and make up your own nature based characters, like May Gibbs? You could draw your characters and make up a story about them. The setting could be your very own backyard! Once you have created your characters and story, you could act out the story with some help from brothers and sisters, friends and mums and dads! Remember that you can play more than one character by changing your voice and your costume items. In ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’, the person who played Mrs Snake also played Mrs Fantail and Ragged Blossom! The person who played Mr Lizard was also Mr Possum, Mr Kookaburra, Mr Frog and a Big Bad Banksia Man!

We hope you have a fantastic holiday! See you all in Term 4!

The Prep Team

Help the Jpod students collect data for their Games Expo!

Hi Preps and Families!

Last week we learned how to collect information about some things that people like or don’t like. This helped us get to know our home group friends a bit better! Next term we can use these skills to plan our Pizza Activity Night!

The Jpod students are collecting data too and they need your help. They want to find out what you like and don’t like when you are playing games so they can make fun games for kids to play at their Games Expo in Term 4. You can read about their real-life learning project by clicking on the link below:

Link to Jpod class blog post about the Great Games Expo

You can help them by doing a quick survey (follow the link below; it only takes a few minutes). Parents will need to help you read it – and they can do it too!

Follow this link to the Jpod Great Games Expo Survey


If you have a QR code reader app on your device you can scan the code below and it will take you to the survey monkey site.

Thank you for taking the time to help the Jpod with this exciting and fun project!

The Prep Team