All posts by mcmoyle

Rube Goldberg Machine

Do you know what a Rube Goldberg Machine is?

We didn’t know what it was either until we watched a video last week and found out it is a series of complex chain reactions that perform a simple task.

There were lots of materials provided for us to explore. But before we did, we needed to follow a thinking process.

1. Think of a simple task we wanted to perform.
2. Consider what materials might be best for using.
3. Come up with a plan.
4. Create our Rube Goldberg Machine.
5. Test our construction.
6. Evaluate if it worked and, if not, make changes and test again.

We took videos of our testing and the most important thing we learnt was


Here are some videos of our successes and failures (which, remember, are good things!)

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Library Movie (4)-v8embu

Library Movie (3)-rmfy9v

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Library Movie (1)-18rkmyn

Activating Nouns

Nouns are the words we use to name a person, a place or an object.

There can be other nouns, called abstract nouns, that are things we cannot see like ‘love’ or ‘hatred’.

When we are writing, we can make these nouns much more interesting by ‘activating’ them, or bringing them to life with description.

The sorts of ways we can make them more interesting is by explaining how many there are, using opinion and factual adjectives, using classifying adjectives and explaining where the noun is.

Here is an example of some sentences we activated as a class.

We then ‘had-a-go’ on our own and shared what we came up with.

In the future, when we are revising our work we can look for nouns and use a table like the one in the photo to ‘activate’ our nouns and make our writing more detailed and entertaining for the reader.

What are fractions?

To begin our learning of fractions, we first needed to come up with a definition of what a fraction is.

We also learnt that it is also important to understand what is NOT a fraction so that we do not become confused and so that our definition of a fraction is stronger.

This is what we decided:

1. Fractions are when an object, group of objects or a number is split up into equal pieces or group.

2. Non-fractions are when an object, group of objects or a number is split into pieces or groups that are NOT equal.

CBL Provocations

This term our CBL Big Idea is ‘Curiosity’.

To spark our imaginations and ideas, we engaged in several provocations.

There were computers, floppy disks, remote control cars and an overhead projector to take apart.

There were also lots of materials to try and construct a rainproof and windproof mini shelter, as well as a crime scene to solve through fingerprinting and chromatography.

We having been taking photos of our work and our wonderings on our iPads and using them to create CBL journals using either the application ‘Keynote’ or Google Slides so that we can track our progress, our thinking and our knowledge.

Classroom Helpers

This term we are seeking parent helpers who might have an hour or so each week to come into our classroom and assist us with our learning.

The teacher will be trying an online sign up form for parents to say when they are able to come in.

You must have a current Working With Children Check and also sign our school’s Child Safe Conduct form. Please make sure the office has a copy of these things.

Once you have done this, head to and select when you are able to help out!

We hope to see some parents starting from next week!

At Home Learning Tasks

At our Student Led Conferences, many parents were asking about what sorts of tasks their child could be doing at home.

It is recommended that your child read each night or for a total of 60 minutes across the week. This could be reading independently, reading to someone or being read to.

There are then some other activities that will allow your child to show you their skills and understanding in spelling and numeracy through their online access to Literacy Planet and Mangahigh.

Finally, you can work with your child on constructing some writing pieces and on attempting a mathematics challenge.

All of these activities have been added here on the blog and should also be pasted into your child’s homework for you to discuss with them.
4B Term 3 Homework-1iabk19

Dewey Decimal System

In our recent trips to the school library we have been looking at how the space is set up and how we can find books.

We know that in our library we have fiction chapter books in one section and picture story books in another section. These books are organised in alphabetical order using the surname of the author. So, if we wanted to find a book by Andy Griffiths we would look under the letter ‘G’ for Griffiths and if we wanted to find one by Roald Dahl we would look under ‘D’ for Dahl.

What about non-fiction books? When we are looking for these types of books we want to look for a particular topic, not the author.

This is where the Dewey Decimal System comes into it.

Watch this video from Bentley Media Centre to find out more…

When we went to the library we practised using the Dewey Decimal System to find the category numbers for a variety of books on different topics. We even saw that our library has the same categories written on posters at the end of each non-fiction aisle.

We were also impressed to see that Mrs. Patterson can remember many of the category numbers off by heart. Maybe with practice we’ll be able to do that too!

Looking for character traits

In Reading we have been looking at character traits – these are ways we can describe the identities of the characters we read about.

The traits could be physical (which means they are things we can see like the character could be tall, blonde haired, freckled) or it could be based on their personality (something we can’t see like they could be caring, mischievous, imaginative).

To find out what the traits of the characters were, we had to find evidence.

Here is the work one group did when they looked at the book ‘Pig in Love’.

When we shared some of our findings we discovered that authors are more interested in making sure the reader knows about the personality of the characters rather than how they look. They do this so the reader can make text-to-self connections.

We also learnt that authors can help us learn about a character in different ways:
1. They can just tell us what they are like, for example, ‘She was a clever girl’ = she was clever
2. They can describe the actions of the character, for example, ‘He gave his last dollar to the charity’ = he was generous
3. They can tell us what the character said, for example, “I think you are smelly and I don’t want to be your friend!” = the character is rude.

How big is one square metre?

For our maths task this term we are pretending to be architects who need to design an apartment block. To do this, we need to know how big to make the rooms and to do THAT we need to know how to take measurements.

We know that the common unit of measurement for rooms and houses is metres and that we use square metres to work out the area.

Here are the other things we said we knew.

With all of this knowledge, we then worked in small groups to create a square metre out of paper. At the end we could then see exactly how big a square metre was and we could put them together to get an idea of big some rooms would need to be.

Education Week

Next week is Education Week and this year’s theme is ‘Healthy Mind, Healthy Body’ which fits in perfectly with our CBL Big Idea of Survival and how we can look after ourselves.

Here is a photo of the poster that explains the different activities that will be on for the week.

Please take a look at them and add them to your diary!