The “so what” of our Community Investigations

As our learning about the local community has developed this term, the students have been immersed in much information to help guide them towards something they can achieve to make a difference in their own lives or the lives of others in the community.

After our local community walk and our community immersion activities, the students noticed some rubbish outside in the local environment. During recent classroom activities we have explored the impact that rubbish can have on the local community and last week we asked the students the ‘SO WHAT’ question – ie given everything they have learnt about our community and the impact that rubbish in the community can have on animals, plants and humans, what are you going to do about it??

The students decided that they needed to find out first why people dropped rubbish on the ground. They decided to survey the school and the overwhelming message they got from other students was that people dropped rubbish usually because they were being Lazy. They decided that they needed to take the following action:

– Organise a clean up day for the local environment,and
– Use books, posters, songs, puppets shows, films and the prep blog to spread their message about the need to look after our environment.

We have been overwhelmed by the quality and creativity displayed by the students in their learning and we hope you will take the time to listen to the messages in their work below. There are lots of students featured in many of the pieces. It is truly amazing for such young learners to be using their literacy, numeracy, technology and thinking skills to such great effect.

Prep rubbish campaign -Books and posters below -by Ella, Josh, Joseph, Charlotte W, Angelina, Mikaylah, Ronak, Averleigh, Fynn, Imogen, Toby, Samantha

Our Clean up the School day will take place on Friday 5th December.

We are sure that the prep students are already making a difference to their local community, with their messages and desire to help look after our world.

Persausive language developed by the preps

This week the prep students have been working on developing their persausive language for speaking and writing. They have been enjoying us reading the Magic Faraway Tree to them, so we used this as the stimulus for their writing. Firstly, they had to create their own ‘Land’ for the Faraway Tree. Then we watched the first movie together and discussed the language of adverts and the sorts of words and language to use when we need to persuade someone. The students then had the challenge to write a persausive advert for their own Faraway Tree Land to persuade someone to come and visit. We think the students did an awsome job as you can hopefully see from the second video.

Enjoy the magic Faraway Tree Lands!

Aboriginal Cultural Centre

We had a fantastic visit today to connect with our local aboriginal cultural centre on Torquay Rd, Narana. As you will see from the film, the students had a fantastic time painting boomerangs using their knowledge of aboriginal symbols, listening to dreamtime stories, exploring aboriginal instruments and artifacts and throwing boomerangs.

When we returned to school, the prep students used their writing skills to write about the trip, some writing letters home and some writing thank you letters to Narana, which we copied and emailed to Narana.

We also received such positive feedback from our hosts at Narana, firstly commenting about the amazing quality of the painting work which went into the boomerangs and then secondly, about how well mannered and respectful all the students were. We will pick up the boomerangs tomorrow so the students can bring them home.

week 3 Philosophy

This week, we linked our philosophy sessions to our community learning and used an Aboriginal Dreamtime story to help immerse the students in some Aboriginal culture before our trip to Narana aboriginal centre next week. The students loved the story and we had some great conversations exploring the reasons why the frog drank all the water, whether it was right for him to do it, why he didn’t want to share and why the animals chose to make him laugh to fix the problem. There was so many relevant messages in the story for the students.

enjoy the video and hope to see you all at the spring fair tonight.

The Prep Team

Prep Arcade coming…!!!

Don’t miss the prep arcade on Friday.

This has been a wonderful, Authentic, Inquiry led learning opportunity for the students. The learning has been full of 21st century learning skills;

Creativity
Collaboration
Critical thinking
Communication
Character building

There have also been so many opportunities to link the learning to the Literacy and numeracy curriculum. Students have had authentic reasons to;

– produce plans working to specific learning criteria
– use technology to research ideas for their games
– work in collaborative teams
– build models and assess against a learning rubric
– write instructions
– write adverts (persuasive writing)
– write letters home to inform family members what they have been doing
– use measurement and numeracy skills purposefully

We definitely think the prep students are making a difference to the local community and are enjoying being an active participant in such a great community event.

We hope the community will come and play the Prep arcade and enjoy the rest of the Spring Fair on Friday night at school.

Community Teddy project

Our classroom Teddy (Eddy) has 6 friends visiting from overseas.

We have put up a map in class showing where all the animal are from around the world.

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Dinesh is a leopard from Sri Lanka
Taj is a zebra from South Africa
Luna is a green tree frog from South America
Ning is a panda from China
Lav is a tiger from India
Nisa is an Elephant from Thailand

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The teddies will be coming home with the students at least once this term and the hope is that the students will show them something they enjoy from our local community and then draw, write or print out a picture to put in the teddies journal. We are happy to print out pictures if you can’t print them at home if want to email them to the teachers. This is a great chance for the students to explore their local community and to use their developing writing skills. You might also like to find out something about the country the teddies come from.

The books and teddies will go home on Wednesday and should be returned to school the following Monday.

The teddies have already had some adventures (see below) we wonder what will happen to them next week.

The DOT – Philosophy session

The students enjoyed watching ‘the Dot’ for our philosophy stimulus last week.

What followed was a fantastic conversation around the virtues of believing in yourself, setting personal challenges , not giving up, trying hard and practicing to get better at things.

Nearly all the students participated in the discussion and then the students wrote what they had ‘learnt’ or noticed from watching the film.

It is amazing to see how the students thinking is developing through our regular philosophy sessions as they are beginning to look for deeper messages in the stimulus we present to them and show deeper levels of comprehension.

Sharing our books with the Kinder children

Last week the prep students finished their picture story books for the local kinder children. They wrote letters together last week to send to the Kinder to organize a time to go and share their books. This morning they went across and read their books to the children. This was a great authentic purpose for them using their writing and story telling skills. It was also a lovely experience for them to visit the Kinder, where many children spent last year with such fond memories.

The books will be on display for everyone to see during our learning expo on thursday evening after the fantastic volcano eruptions and bottle rocket launching.

Real Life purpose for writing

Our recent 100 days at school party provided some excellent opportunities for real and purposeful writing.

Thank you cards!!

Ronak’s mum made us an amazing cake and we needed to thank her. The kids enjoyed writing thank you messages which we collaged into a card for her. We also discussed with the students how lovely it is to use their writing skills to write letters and cards for all sorts of reasons, such as thankyou’s, get well or birthday cards. There are so many reasons for writing in real life, even writing messages to each other can be so much fun for students.

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Letter writing

The students and parents raised $100 with our gold coin donations. We have turned the coins into a $100 cheque for Cottage by the Sea and we explored with the students how we would need to write a letter so that Cottage by the Sea would know who the money was from, how it was raised and that we hoped to help them and others by raising the money.

We thought the letters (written independently -not copied from the board) were amazing and having a real life purpose for the writing really helped concentrate the students thinking and also give them a real reason for writing in sentences, with spaces between words and using handwriting and spelling attempts that could be easily read by the charity. The pictures were also beautifully drawn and i’m sure they will bring a smile to the staff at the Charity.

We wonder if we will get a letter back from Cottage by the Sea.

Message from Lee Fox

We sent the link to our prep blog to Lee Fox , she watched the video of our preps poems and she sent us this message by email.

Thank you so much for your lovely feedback and for sending me a link to the Prep blog post about my visit. It’s fantastic! And the kids have done a wonderful job with their poems. It’s great to see what they came up with – really fabulous writing. Please tell them that I was thrilled to see what they had done and I hope they keep writing great rhymes.

We shared this message today with the students who were excited to know that a famous author had seen and listened to their poems and sent them a message.

It’s exciting for us all!