Saturday, 7 April 2018

Week 11: The count down is on!

Good afternoon parents,

So here we are at the last week of Term 1 already. Whilst it has flown by, I know we have worked incredibly hard, as both myself and the children are in desperate need of a sleep-in and a chilled out PJ's day!

So this week we will be summing up the units and pieces of work that we have been working on this Term, by completing assessments, spelling reviews, incomplete artwork, setting descriptions, story maps (Dreamtime) and the class novel. We will also continue to work on retell and comprehension through the use of 'The Twits' and a video on ANZAC Day in our Guided Reading groups.

A very busy start to the week, with some down time towards the end. Thank goodness!!

Spelling - NO LSCWC or activities
-This week is review week, where we will be reviewing the rules we have learnt this term. Activities will be completed in class to test the students retention of the spelling rules, with the final assessment Thursday.

Mental Maths - NO MENTAL MATHS this week due to Test Revision

Reading - Reading Log & Word Study Worksheet (combined worksheet)
- I have changed the Reading Log slightly, the students no longer have to do the review at the bottom, instead they have to complete a Word Study activity that relates to what we are doing in class.

Test Revision - the students will be given a revision note (Monday) for the concepts they need to        know for the History, Science and Maths test later this week. We will be talking about all of the content together tomorrow and then  their workbooks and revision note will be sent home. I have reduced the other homework, so they can study for these assessments on Thursday and Friday. If you are able to quiz them on the concepts, it would be greatly appreciated.


Euthando Dolls
This Wednesday 11th April, Adrian will be commencing the construction of the Euthnado doll. If any one is free to help from 1.30pm onwards, he would most appreciative. The more hands one deck, the smoother the session will run.

Maths Help
This Wednesday 11th April, Adrian has asked if any volunteers are available from 11.20-12.40pm to assist with the Maths groups. We are so grateful for the assistance you provide as it benefits your children greatly.

Assessment File
On Friday, the students will be bringing home a black folder which will have assessments and display work that was completed this term. This is for you to look through and send back at the start of next term. Just a reminder that all tests/assessments will also be uploaded onto your child's OneNote in the 'My Learning Journey' folder for you to refer to at any time.

Have a great week and a safe holiday.

Many thanks,

Sandy Ricciardone

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Week 10 Term 1

Good afternoon parents,

I hope you all had a well-earned Easter break. I think it came at a perfect time, for us all to rest, recoup and re-energize for the remainder of the term.

Thank you for your assistance with the costumes for the Holy Week presentation, the students looked great and did a wonderful job of portraying the Resurrection of Jesus. It was great to see so many of you there to support the children.

We have begun our study of narratives; in particular, identifying the structure, purpose and language features found within them. This week and into next week, we are going to apply this knowledge of different language types to write creative and detailed descriptions of settings and characters (preparing to write the orientation of a narrative). A series of new words lists will be displayed around the class to encourage the children to extend their vocabulary when writing. The children are also going to be challenged to find new exciting WOW words at home to contribute to our WOW Wall, the trickier the better!

Retelling in Class
As most of you know I have recently completed a new Reading test on the students, and one component of this test requires the students to give a retell of what they have read. It was interesting to see that many students at all levels found this component difficult. Therefore I have decided to incorporate a retell session on Friday each week to improve the results in this area. This week we will begin reading the novel 'The Twits' by Roald Dahl as a class, this will be used during our writing
and retell sessions.

Integrating History and Literacy
As part of our study of narratives and the First Australians, the students are currently working on devising their own Dreamtime stories. The students have been encouraged to follow the structure of a narrative in their planning, as well as, incorporate relevant research such as tribe names to the region they have written about, indigenous words or language for characters and items used within the story. They will present this as a story map using an iPad app called 'Strip Designer'. I am looking forward to seeing the final products, especially after reading the story ideas over the weekend.

Our pet tadpoles (froglets) are still going! I am really impressed with our ability to keep most of them alive (unfortunately one has passed away). This week we will be freshening up the tank and renewing some of the surroundings. This week in Science, we will be learning about symbiosis and how living and non-living organisms rely on one another to maintain a balanced ecosystem. Our little tadpoles, will be used again as a feature, alongside videos and games to reinforce this new concept.

In week 11, the students will have assessments in Science, History and Numeracy to test their knowledge of what has been taught. The students will be encouraged this week to take their books home to study. In class, we will highlight what they need to know in the assessments to prepare them for each one. If your child is absent next week, we will catch them up next term after the holidays.

This week the students are continuing to use their Spelling Words from week 9 and the same reading log from last week (as there will be spare spaces to complete from last week).

1. Spelling - Look, Say Cover, Write, Check & at least 2 spelling activities (from the activity grid) a        week.
2. Reading - 10 minutes each night and complete small section of Reading Log.
3. Mental Maths - Think Mentals,

Parent Teacher Interviews - Week 9/10
Thank you to those who met with us last week to discuss your child's progress, it was great to be able to discuss each child in depth and identify their individual needs. I look forward to meeting with the last few parents over the next couple of days.

Year 1 Prayer Assembly 
There will be a prayer assembly this Friday, however merits will still be distributed. You will hear from us very soon if your child has been selected.

Parent Help Roster 
Thank you to all the wonderful people who have generously given up their time to assist in the classroom so far. Starting next term, we will remove parent help in the middle session, to avoid confusion. If you are able to help on a Monday - Thursday in the morning, we would be greatly appreciative. A new calendar/roster for next term will be put up for you add your names to.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Many thanks,

Sandy Ricciardone & Adrian Torrese

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Parent Interviews Timetable and Parent Help Roster

Good afternoon parents,

For those parents who are unable to get to school to book a time for Parent Interviews, we have created a google doc for you to add your names at home/work. Please see the link below,
Parent Interview Timetable and Parent Help Roster

We will continually check and update the roster on the window so there is no doubling up.

Many thanks,

Sandy and Adrian

Mid Week Reminders

Good afternoon parents,

Here a few reminders about two key events next week:

Whole School Easter Raffle

Just a reminder that each child is asked to bring in an Easter egg as a donation to the annual Easter Egg Raffle. This is a fantastic fundraiser for the school with all money being raised going to Project Compassion. There is a basket near the window at the entry to the classroom for you to put your donation into. These are to be handed in by Monday, 26 March. 

Holy Week

As mentioned in previous posts, the Year 3/4 students will be sharing a reflection of the Resurrection on Thursday 29th May beginning at 9am in the Hall. We would love to have as many parents there as possible.

All students have been given their roles and for those that have reading parts, we ask that the children practice these at home. The students are asked to come dressed in a simple costume reflective of the times of Jesus...think a small sheet and a tea towel. The more specific costumes, w
e will try and source ourselves. If they can wear their uniform underneath their costume on the day please. 

Many thanks,

Sandy Ricciardone

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Week 8 Term 1

Good morning,

I hope you are having a good weekend, I'm going to try and keep it brief today...

We congratulate Jack Roberts and Kobe Jennings on receiving a Merit Award last week.

We have some new students who are 'On-A-Roll' in our class, as they have been working incredibly hard to show personal progress in different Learning Areas. We acknowledge Banjo, Zahra and Taylah for their wonderful efforts.

Thank you to the amazing helpers who came on Friday morning and put in a mammoth effort to get our Resurrection Art completed. It looks amazing and it is going to look quite special in the Hall during Holy Week.

Tomorrow morning the students will be completing their final writing task for the persuasive genre. The students were given time on Friday to plan out and form their arguments for the given topic. Using this planning sheet, they will be allowed 50 minutes to write as much as they can of this persuasive piece (more time may be given on a needs basis). We have done a lot of work on this genre and are very happy to be moving onto something new, something a little more creative: narratives!

Our pet tadpoles (froglets) are doing well, 2 weeks with us and are still alive:) I am really impressed with the interest and engagement the children have shown towards them. The research and conversations that are being had, are far greater than I could have imagined! We upgraded their home on Friday into a larger tank, in preparation for them to grow their arms and drop their tails! Our task this week is to create a lid that allows air in but prevents them jumping out! Sounds like a Problem Solving task in the making!

On Friday's after school, I check homework books and have noticed over the last 3 weeks that at least two thirds of the class are NOT completing their homework consistently, especially their Spelling activities. Can you please ensure your child is making an effort to complete their homework by Friday morning.

1. Spelling - Look, Say Cover, Write, Check & at least 2 spelling activities (from the activity grid) a        week.
2. Reading - 10 minutes each night and complete small section of Reading Log.
3. Mental Maths - Think Mentals, Unit 8, Day 1-4.

Parent Teacher Interviews - Week 9
In Year 4, parent teacher interviews will begin on Monday 26th March. A timetable will be placed on the 'Notices' window by Tuesday morning (this week) for you to book a time to meet with us. These are 10 minute meetings to discuss the academic and social developments of your child thus far. Please see me if you have any further questions about the interviews.

Uthando Doll Project
As part of the Year 4 Design and Technologies program, the students will be taking part in the Uthando Doll Making Project which involves creating dolls for children without parents in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.

Our class is currently learning about the production and use of natural and synthetic fibres for the materials strand of Design and Technology curriculum. This learning will greatly assist and enhance the process of creating the dolls.

We are asking for any help from parents on Wednesdays at 1:30pm, as from Week 9 of this term and into Term 2, with some hand sewing as well as some general assistance in the doll making process.
We are also inviting any parents and parishioners who would like to be part of the project to create their own doll that will be sent to a child in South Africa.

If you are able to help or would like be part of the project, we have a presentation by Mrs Lynn Tognolini, a founding member of the project, this Friday 23rd March at 1:30pm in our classroom if you would like to join us. Please find more information about the amazing project via the link above.

Interschool Swimming Carnival
The swimming carnival is on Thursday this week. We wish those going all the best!

Go Fish Musical
Your children have probably came home and shared the excitement of the musical they will be involved in next term. I have been asked to pass on the message that the Musical, Go Fish, will take place in Week 6 of Term 2 with a matinee on Wednesday evening and performance on Friday evening of that week. More information will be posted by Mrs Horrocks towards the end of term.

Holy Week
Next week (week 9) is Holy Week and on Thursday 29th March we will be presenting the Resurrection with the Year 3's. It will only be a short presentation in the hall at 9am, so if you are able to join us, we would love to see you there. Readings will be given to the students at the start of this week to practice. We don't want to cause a lot of stress at home, therefore we have kept costumes pretty simple and ask that students just wear a towel or tea towel on their heads (kept in place with a headband or elastic of some sort). Some children will have more specific parts, therefore may need a more specific costume. We will notify you personally if this is the case.

So as you can see, I'm not very good at keeping things brief!! Thanks again for your support,

Mrs Ricciardone & Mr Torrese

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Week 7 Term1

Good morning,

I hope you are having a great weekend. As I sit here looking at the beautiful sunrise, I can't help be thankful for the amazing place we live and the opportunity I have to do what I love: that is teach your children!

In Spelling last week we started to learn our new rules, one fun way to reinforce our knowledge of the words was to trace them on each others back. This proved to be highly motivating, yet a little more challenging than the children had thought! The students will continue to learn the same spelling rules this week, due to the shortened week last week.

Last week the students began planning a Persuasive text on their own chosen class pet. We spent Wednesday and Thursday planning out our arguments and then on Friday we wrote our introduction. This week will continue to write our expositions; using high modality words, time connectives, varied sentence openers, emotive language and good paragraph structures. I look forward to seeing the final products come to fruition.

In Reading Groups this week, we will be looking at the Reading Comprehension strategy of 'Questioning'. Questioning is when readers ask questions about the text and the author's intention and seek information to clarify and extend their thinking before, during and after reading.

After completing our Place Value unit, we have moved onto reviewing and applying mental and written strategies for the operations of Addition and Subtraction. This week we will continue this and look at the different mental strategies we can apply to multiplication sums, including a focus on our timestables.

We have been working on the unit 'Whispers From Within', which places a focus on the sacrament of Baptism. This week we will round off this unit with a review and assessment, allowing us to lead into our Lent and Easter unit of work.

Thank you to the Kerr's for the donation of the biggest tadpoles I've ever seen! Science was so much fun this week, the students learnt about the life cycle of a frog in such an interactive way! We had a range of tadpoles at different developmental stages, so as we were learning we could identify which tadpole was at that developmental stage. What I loved the most was, that the students were then motivated to research the optimum habitat for a tadpole to ensure our little buddies stay alive. Thank you to those who brought in donations for this tadpole habitat, we are still looking for an empty fish tank or container with a lid to keep them in. Currently they are in a plastic container with no lid, however if we are successful in keeping them alive, we will eventually need something with a lid!

Last week, we finished our sunset pictures and they look a treat! This week we will be creating a piece of art with water colours, to display in the hall for Holy Week. Our topic is the Ressurection, here is a sneak peek of what we will be creating on the left.

WEEK 7 -
The students will not get new worksheets this week, they will continue to use the ones from last week as there will be spaces on Monday and Tuesday.

1. Reading (Reading Eggspress Book) - 10 minutes each night. Please make sure your child is filling out the Reading Log each night, it takes no more than a couple of minutes to write it in.
NB: Students are asked to read their set Reading Eggspress Book (this will be the same book as last week and then after their Reading Groups they will continue to the book started in class).

2. Mental Maths - Think Mentals 4 Student Book, Week 7: students are to complete a column each night. These will be marked the next day in class, so we are able to discuss the more challenging concepts.
* Please note: I ask that the students complete at least 4 set Mathletics tasks this week.

3. Spelling - Complete LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE, CHECK with their given spelling words. They are to also complete one spelling activity into their homework book from the spelling grid. 
(The students have the same words as last week due to the shorter week)

There is a general assembly on Friday, we will inform those who will be receiving Merit Awards very soon.

Congratulations to Savannah Van Es, who received a Merit Award last week, she has been working very hard!

One Note
The children have taken photos of their recent Math's test results and uploaded them on One Note under the folder 'My Learning Journey'. We have done this and will continue to do this for every assessment so you are able to see their results, showing what they are doing well and the areas they still need to develop. If you haven't seen these yet, take the time to sit with your child to talk through their results.

Some people have expressed interest in helping out in the classroom. Now that we are doing Reading and Maths groups in class, there is always a need for an extra set of hands. You would be required to sit with a group complete an activity together, nothing too challenging! The session times that I would need are morning sessions from 9.15-10.15am (mainly Maths) and other sessions from 11.20-12.20pm (mainly Literacy). I will put up a roster on our class notice board and if you are able to help in any way it would be greatly appreciated.

As you are aware Mr Torrese will be starting the Uthando Doll Project with the students this term in Design and Technology. Lynn Tognolini will be coming to our school on Friday 23rd March to discuss this project, in particular the benefits of it with the students.

In week 8, all classes will be presenting, on different days, a short reflection on an event from Holy Week. We will be combining with the Year 3's to present the Resurrection to the rest of the school. Some children will receive readings this week, I ask that you practise these at home to learn them off by heart (where possible). Time in class will also be spent doing this.

Have a wonderful week...not long now to our next long weekend!

Mrs Ricciardone

Monday, 5 March 2018

Week 6: I love long weekends!

Good evening,

What a well-timed long weekend! It was a a great chance to rest and recoup, with lots of fun things to do in the most beautiful place with the most beautiful weather! I hope you've had a wonderful break.

This week is a short one, but  a full one.

Reading groups were a hit!! 
As stated last week, reading groups have begun and I can happily report that both myself and the students were very excited when reading group time came around each day! The student's really enjoyed the variety of activities, as well as, working in a new format with different friends. Each week, we are going to focus on one of the 8 Reading Comprehension Strategies, using videos from the website Into the Book. Please feel free to check out the website by clicking on the link.

In Science last week, we began our study into 'Biological Sciences'. The students learnt about the life cycle of a sunflower (plant), which we will compare and contrast between the life cycle of frog (amphibian) later this week. We will identify the similarities and difference between the two. The children also set up an experiment with runner beans, where they had to test whether their three beans will grow at the same rate. This experiment will also allow us to review the life cycle of a plant as the beans begin to grow. If anyone has tadpoles close to home, I'd be very appreciative if one could be donated to the class. This would make our Science lesson a little more exciting this week.

We have continued our studies of the First Australians in History, and integrated this topic into Art. On Friday we had a chance to play with chalk pastels to create a layered sunset image, using a warm colour palette, to resemble the Australian outback. We placed the iconic Boab tree in the centre of our picture, as it is a significant item found in the Kimberly region. These beautiful artworks, are still to be completed and will be on display very soon.

WEEK 6 -
1. Reading (Reading Eggspress Book) - 10 minutes each night. Please make sure your child is filling out the Reading Log each night, it takes no more than a coupel of minutes to write it in.
NB: Students are asked to read their set Reading Eggspress Book (the title will be written into the students Reading log sheet on Wednesday morning when they set up their homework).

2. Mental Maths - Think Mentals 4 Student Book, Week 6: students are to complete a column each night. These will be marked the next day in class, so we are able to discuss the more challenging concepts.

3. Spelling - Complete LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE, CHECK with their given spelling words. They are to also complete one spelling activity into their homework book from the spelling grid. 
(NEW WORDS THIS WEEK, however they will keep them in Wk7 due to the shorter week)

4. Photography - The students need to take up to 10 photos based on the theme 'FREE CHOICE'. They are to create a pic collage of these pictures and upload this into their Class Notebook file. 

The students have to also ensure that all of their pic collage themes (including those done in class) are uploaded by Wednesday. This being the first day back, can you please remind them of this task for Mr Torrese.

There is a general assembly on Friday, we will inform those who will be receiving Merit Awards very soon.

The challenge has been set by Mrs Meyers to raise over $500 for Project Compassion by the end of Lent. I ask that you remind your children if they have any spare change that they may want to donate it to this very worthy cause. Thank you to those who have donated so far, it is greatly appreciated. Whilst I'm not very competitive, I am hoping Year 4 can beat 1P in donations at assembly this week.

I have purchased some new novels from book club and brought in my sons Where's Wally, Star Wars and Ninjago books to jazz up the class library, however it is still a little bare. If you have any books that are no longer being read and are collecting dust, we would greatly appreciate any donations. 

Lastly, I must apologise for the lack of photos in my blog posts, I get so involved in my teaching that I forget to get the iPad out and take a few snaps. I promise this will change in weeks to come!

Enjoy the short week ahead.

Many thanks,

Mrs Ricciardone