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Author: gregalksne

Reflecting on Week 18- Two and a half days to go!

Reflecting on Week 18- Two and a half days to go!

We have had another great week of teaching and learning!

This week our biggest achievement has been every grade 5 student working positively towards developing their Nation within the How We Organise Ourselves Collaborative Inquiry.  Students have been placed into groups of four and are expected over a week-period to develop a new Nation, which best represents their randomly selected People. Each group needs to think deeply on how they will organise a political system that best serves their people.

Soon the students will present their inquiries to visiting grade 7 students and convince them that they have made positive political choices.

In part of our Wellbeing Program, 5GA students continue to challenge their fellow homeroom mates within a series of games to determine, which is the ‘strongest’ and ‘fiercest’ homeroom class.  Unfortunately, 5GA has finished last in both games in the Battle of the Homeroom Series. I am sure 5GA students will step up in future games and continue to develop their game strategies.

We are all very excited about the approaching Chinese New Year holiday.  Two and a half days to go!

Three Weeks of Rest, Relaxation and Fun: Week 17 Begins!

Three Weeks of Rest, Relaxation and Fun: Week 17 Begins!

Those Winter holidays went quick!

Many students in 5GA went back to their home countries to celebrate Christmas.  Some students travelled through China and learnt new things about their host country, China.  And some students stayed in Suzhou and enjoyed the opportunity to relax, spend time with their family and friends.  We all agreed, it was a great holiday and we felt ready to come back to school.

This week has been awesome because I was really happy to see all my students again.  My students really enjoyed the opportunity to see each other again, and I know they were super excited to see me too.  Well, I hope!  We continued our learning where we left off, and were able to complete challenges we hadn’t quite finished, and of course, begin new and exciting ones too!

If I were part of the world’s new Government I would surround myself with the best possible people I could find to collaborate with and make insightful decisions on how we could improve the organisation of how we live as global citizens.  We would set long term goals to improve opportunities for all people, think creatively on how we could improve our environment and celebrate our differences.  It would be a huge challenge to collaborate with all of the world’s people, but what an exciting task it would be to bring everyone together.

I am looking forward to relaxing this weekend and reflecting on our awesome Week 17.

I wonder what new learning adventures await us in the new school week?

The Winter Holidays have arrived! Week 16

The Winter Holidays have arrived! Week 16

The Winter Holidays have arrived!  We are all very excited to now enjoy a well-deserved break after working so hard together over the last four months.

This week the students enjoyed working on their Secret Friends challenge.  They were randomly given a classmate’s name who they had to prepare a gift for.  Throughout the week, the students needed to secretly get to know this chosen classmate without revealing their identity.  It has been a lot of fun and the students have been very creative in the gifts they have prepared for each other.

We finished this week off by baking Winter Holiday cookies.  We iced them this afternoon in lots of different colours and enjoyed decorating them with lots of different candy.

Happy holidays everyone.  I look forward to seeing everyone again in the new year!

An Hour of Code and More: Week 15

An Hour of Code and More: Week 15

This week we had a busy time exploring Political Systems, Number Operations and Discussion as a form of communication.  The students continued reading their Guided Readers, attended their specialist subjects and enjoyed 5KN’s assembly performance at the end of the week.  It was an exciting week of new learning!

On Thursday 5GA attended their Hour of Code.  It wasn’t exactly an hour, but it was enough time to explore the many activities that Ms Carol and Ms Melinda had organised for us to explore.  Mr Alksne learnt more about the history of coding, while the class enjoyed exploring the coding activities.  This including coordinating the movements of a robot, painting using sphereos, communicating with each other using codes and building apparatus and models systematically.  The students learnt through play, sharing and trial and error.  We will continue our explorations of code back in our homerooms.  Coding is something we all enjoyed!

On Friday we had two special visiting teachers from OCAC  join us to learn more about our inquiry approach to learning.  We demonstrated how we use inquiry to learn problem solving within Mathematics.  We also demonstrated to them how mindfulness is an approach we use to focus our minds on the learning process.  It was a great opportunity to share with our new teaching friends how we are learning and what excites us about SSIS.

We now look forward to our last week before the Winter holidays.

We Turned the Lights On! Week 14

We Turned the Lights On! Week 14

This week was a busy week in 5GA.  The students worked on their weekly learning challenges, enjoyed a Pennant Raising Ceremony for ACAMIS volleyball and finally the Christmas Tree lights were turned on.  It is the season to be jolly, as we look forward to two more weeks of school before our Winter holidays!  Everyone is very excited and exhausted at the same time!

We continued our new unit of inquiry, ‘How We Organise Ourselves,’ this week.  The students had to inquire into the different systems used by Governments around the world to serve the needs and wants of their populations.  The students discovered that there are many different forms of systems and that nations use a combination to meet their specific requirements.  No system is better than the other, as all systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

Political systems are complicated and complex.  The students realised that there are many parts to a political system, which make it very challenging to function successfully.  However, Governments around the world work very hard to serve their people as best they can with the resources they have available to them.

A Lucky Week for All of Us: Week 13

A Lucky Week for All of Us: Week 13

This week was a busy learning adventure for all!

We begun the week by completing our Grade 5 Collaborative Inquiry Challenges, which involved group presentations and reflections.  Student groups shared with each other their migration stories, some personal, inspiring and also unfortunate.  We all learned the reasons for migration and about different peoples’ perspectives on their adventures or misadventures.  It was a great opportunity to complete our unit of inquiry, Where We Are in Place and Time.

On Friday all Grade 5 students presented their Visual Art Installations.  The students enjoyed working with each other and sharing their ‘spaces’ with visiting grade 3 and 4 students, and parents.

A Grade 5 Cross-Collaborative Inquiry: Week 12

A Grade 5 Cross-Collaborative Inquiry: Week 12

It was another busy week in 5GA!

This week the main focus was on the students working with each other towards completing their cross-collaborative inquiry within the unit Where We Are In Place and Time.  The students had to choose their group of three other students and think about a migration story they would like to inquire into.  This migration story could be personal, recent or a past event.  The students had to focus on the push, pull and twist factors associated with this migration.

A key element of the students’ work was for them to think about how they could tell a great story and immerse their audience within their inquiry.  Each group was conferenced throughout the week during their learning process and encouraged to think about a technological tool that would enhance their story telling.

In the new school week, the students will present their migration stories to each other through a rotating showcase. This will be an opportunity for the students to provide each other with critical feedback and learn from each others’ experiences.

What a short-long Week 11!

What a short-long Week 11!

This week we spent our first three days together completing our teaching and learning challenges from last week.  The students had to complete their explorations of triangles, reflect on their experiences of the Jewish Settlers’ Museum and complete finding out more about their parents’ or grandparents’ migration stories.  The students also planned for the week ahead.

In the new school week, the students will work collaboratively with the other homeroom classes to complete their final inquiry into WWAIPT:  The Grade 5 Collaborative Inquiry.

During this week, we also visited our friends in the Grade 3 classes.  They have been inquiring into systems.  The grade 3 students proudly talked to us about what is a system and how they help us achieve our goals more efficiently.  It was great to hear these students talk and demonstrate to us how their chosen systems worked.

5GA were very proud of their new grade 3 friends and their learning achievements.

The Book Worm within Me! Week 10

The Book Worm within Me! Week 10

The 5GA Reading Program

In class this week I have been reading ‘Run, Pip, Run,’ to the students.  This is an interesting storyline, which presents to the students a different perspective on life.  The students are enjoying listening to this novel read to them during our Shared Reading sessions.  These sessions take place after lunch on three days of our week.  Shared Reading is a great opportunity for them to practise their Mindfulness, whilst enjoying being read to.

Guided Reading groups resumed this week for many of the students.  We have five Guided Reading groups in our class.  Each group is reading a different novel, which is pitched at their ‘challenge’ level.  Some of the novels the children are sharing to each other are classics, and others are new stories that have recently been published.  The students are enjoying their novels and helping each other with their reading process and comprehension.

Reading is an important process in helping us learn.  Reading is also a pleasurable activity to do also.  We should all make reading a part of our lives.  What a great excuse to escape and enjoy the lives of other characters.  We have had a great week of reading.

I wonder what you are reading?

Book Week, ending Week 9

Book Week, ending Week 9

This week we visited the Shanghai Jewish Refugees’ Museum.  I left wondering what an incredible story and miracle it was for the Jewish people.  As I walked around the museum, I felt very emotional and at the same time, interested in the incredible story of the Jewish people.  We were lucky enough to speak to some of their visiting family members when we were at the museum.  They were very happy to see us and share their family histories with us.

Carl Gough, from Wales, visited us.  He was very exciting to listen to.  Carl told us many stories from Wales.  These stories were romantic, humorous and sometimes, very scary.  Within every story he told us there was a surprise.  I really enjoyed listening to Carl.  He put on a great presentation for our class.

Book Week has come and gone.  I will remember walking through the high school in my costume and the older students clapping and cheering us.  I will remember our book parade in the gym.  Our youngest students looked amazing in their costumes and the teachers were funny when they did the Chicken Dance.  We ended our Book Week celebrations with a Character Hunt.  This was fun!  Around everyone corner of our school, hid a teacher dressed in costume.

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