Thursday, 21 April 2016

Middle School - Term 2 Week 2

Middle School Newsletter: Term 2 Week 2


Learning and Teaching

We Are Learning To....

determine importance. In narrative genres, determining importance requires the reader to identify main ideas and infer themes of the story. In nonfiction, however, determining importance is more about retaining important information and learning from the text; readers must be able to sift through information and decide what is most important.
WRITING: identify the features of persuasive texts and focus on the language of persuasive writing. The students will continue their unit on persuasive writing, focusing on, amongst other things, using different planning tools and graphic organisers to develop ideas.    

V.C.O.P. (Vocabulary Connectives Openers Punctuation): continue to upgrade our writing pieces through the V.C.O.P. process. The Middle School students are now all familiar with the V.C.O.P. process and are developing their ability upgrade their written work.

MATHS: explore the concepts of fractions and decimal fractions. The students will represent common fractions, locate fractions on a number line, investigate equivalent fractions and make links back to our place value system. The learning within the unit will be supported by hands-on materials and a range of learning experiences and games for the students!

UNIT OF STUDY (Biological Science - 'Among the Gum Trees'): understand that living things have life cycles and living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive. The Middle School students begin their studies into biological science in our Among the Gum Trees unit. This hands-on science unit will develop the students' scientific understanding, inquiry skills and ability to see science as a human endeavour.

SPELLING: use SMART spelling strategies including breaking words into sounds and syllables, identifying the 'tricky' parts of the words and writing the words and sentences from a dictation passage.  Emphasis will also be placed on understanding the meaning of the words with students encouraged to include the words in their writing and oral language.

eLEARNING: use the iPads and Netbooks to support and extend learning through Mathletics and Reading Eggs and for research and publishing purposes.

 Term 2 Calendar Dates

Friday 22nd April: Passionate Pursuits program commences
Friday 22nd April: ANZAC Assembly 2:45-3:30
Monday 25th April: ANZAC Day Public Holiday
Monday 2nd May: District Cross Country
Tuesday 10th - Thursday 12th May: NAPLAN (Year 3 & 5)
Friday 13th May: Middle School Excursion to CERES
Tuesday 17th May: Italian Day
Wednesday 18th May: Maths Olympiad 1
Wednesday 18th May: Science Family Fun Night
Wednesday 1st June: Division Cross Country
Monday 13th June: Queen's Birthday Public Holiday
Tuesday 14th June: Regional Cross Country

Current notices

Homework in the Middle School is sent home on a Friday and due back the following Thursday. The homework consists of reading (minimum of 4 nights), Mathletics activities and SMART spelling-look, say, sound, spell, write, check.
We would appreciate if parents could record and sign in the student diary when students complete their homework tasks.

Reading Eggs and Mathletics:
All students have individual passwords to access both of these programs.  In Term One we encourage students to explore activities to revise and extend their learning.  These programs are online tools which students use to enhance their learning. 

Students are given set Mathletics tasks to be completed for homework.  This week the focus is on Numeration and Place Value.

Making News

Achievement Awards from Week 1
Isabella Basile for working towards achieving her classroom goal of keeping on task and trying her hardest.  

Giann Pike for writing a wonderful persuasive opening paragraph.

Anna Hampson for her use of Powerful Persuasive Language in her writing tasks.

Euan Walker for his positive attitude towards his school work and his growth mindset.


 Celebrating our Learning
Citizen Science and Scientist in Schools
This term we are excited to work in partnership with CSIRO for the Scientist in Schools program. This program enhances and extends the learning opportunities for students through our Science inquiry unit.

In our first session this week, Ivan, our visiting scientist talked to the students about Citizen Science projects. 

What is Citizen Science?
Citizen Science (CS) (also known as crowd science, crowd sourced science, civic science, volunteer monitoring or networked science) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or non professional scientists.

It includes the participation of non-scientists in the process of gathering data according to specific scientific protocols and in the process of using and interpreting that data.

Citizen Science is a movement in which volunteers are helping professional scientists collect and analyse data.

Here are some of the comments from the students: 
I learnt that there are cat radars which show where their cat goes and measures how far it travels.   Sonny
We learnt about a program which teaches you about ants and that you need to count them.  Dimitra
There are different types of ants and those ants like different types of food.  Mia
I learnt that Citizen Science lets everyone join in.  Jasmine
Ivan showed us a website that we could visit to help other scientists!!  Olivia
You can take pictures of animals that haven't been found before and let other people know about them.  Giaan

Calling all scientists!!
Over the coming weeks we will invite students to extend their scientific knowledge and thinking by electing to participate in the Citizen Science project

Satellite Club
We are pleased to announce that the Satellite Club will continue in 2016 beginning in Term 2 for selected Year 3 to 6 students.  The Satellite Club is Mentone Park’s Extension and Enrichment in-school program which has been developed to extend our high achieving students through explicitly teaching thinking skills and presenting activities which promote higher order thinking.

Students have been selected to participate in this program based on teacher observation and their results from the Assessment of General Ability test which they completed in Term 1.

Our aim is to develop intrepid learners - learners who embrace challenges and are adventurous thinkers.  Students will be provided with opportunities to think deeply and comprehensively across a range of tasks. 
In Term 2 our focus will be on developing:
  •    critical and creative thinking, understanding of thinking processes and an ability to manage and apply these intentionally
  •    skills and learning dispositions that support logical, strategic, flexible and adventurous thinking
  •    confidence in evaluating thinking and thinking processes across a range of familiar and unfamiliar contexts

Mrs Grisdale is continuing to coordinate the program in 2016 and for Term 2, we are excited to announce that Mr Wilton will be leading the weekly Satellite Club sessions with the students.

Congratulations to...
Year 3
Anton Zois
Mia Lafasanidis
Kate Ovenden
Oscar Carter
Chloe Penson-Noble

Year 4
Victoria Chen
Billy Jackson
Euan Walker
Indie-Mai Carter
Olivia Price
Anna Hampson
Sarah Whitehead
Ethan Nancarrow

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