Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Congratulations Grade 6 Students!

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Last night students in Grade 6 celebrated their graduation from Primary School. What an achievement!
It was a fun filled night, with music, dancing, some photo booth fun and a lovely speech by Makeelly and Chelsea.

Miss Spink, Mrs Cotter, Mrs Vavala and Ms Zinghini wish all of the graduating students all the best in high school. We are very proud of them and know that they will be successful in whatever they choose to do.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Save Our Rhinos

For the past few weeks our class has been learning about the Rhinos in South Africa. Our class was sent a Rhino named Lesedi who also came with a book we wrote in that traveled around the world. Lesedi was sent to our school to teach us and help us understand that Rhinos are slowly becoming extinct. Keeping this in mind, we brought Lesedi into our CBL topic and tried to think of ways we could stop this from happening. 

We thought about solutions to keep Rhinos alive for much longer. We came up with things like raising money in fundraisers to donate to the Save The Rhino website, to things like making sure to not buy anything that may be harmful to Rhinos and their habitats. While we were trying to come up with solutions to save Rhinos we also learnt a lot about them. 

We learnt that there are only 5 species of Rhino left and there are no more than 5,000 Rhinos left in each species. Finding out this information made us feel like we needed to take action. You can take action too. If Rhino poaching is affecting you the same way it is affecting us please go to http://www.savetherhino.org/support_us and donate or become a member to help support our Rhinos. 


Thursday, 24 October 2013

New Vocabulary

In our classroom 'Spinkini Land' named after our teachers, also known as Premiers, Ms Zinghini and Ms Spink, we all have important jobs. One of these jobs is a 'Vocabulary Specialist' , their role is to collect new and interesting words that our class do not know and share them each week.

The challenge is to see how we can use these words effectively in our writing or in our everyday conversations.

Click on the following link to see what we come up with. Enjoy our new words, we hope you learn something.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Term 4- Creating Our New Learning Spaces

Today we welcomed the beginning of Term 4 with rearranging our classroom. We had to work as a team and solve problems as they came up. In 5/6 B we have no assigned seats and we are encouraged to sit wherever we will work best. After rearranging our classroom and learning space, we settled right in.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Wolf Haven International Skype

Today 5/6A and 5/6B Skyped with Wolf Haven International, we found them through Skype in the Classroom. Wolf Haven International (WHI) is an organisation in North America that works for wolf conservation to protect wolves and their habitats.

WHI is in Tenino, Washington, USA.

View Wolf Haven International in a larger map

This term our Big Idea for Challenge Based Learning is Survival. The essential question we are trying to answer is 'What Impacts upon Survival?'

Our guiding questions are-
  • What is survival?
  • What affects our chance of survival?
  • How can we help endangered animals survive?
  • What is happening to cause habitat loss?
  • Why do people struggle to survive in other countries?
  • What affects the survival of our natural environment? 
We participated in the Skype in order for us to find information to help us answer some of our guiding questions. We started at 9am Melbourne time, which was 4pm Tenino time, yesterday! We met Erik, who works at WHI and knows so much about wolves!

Some interesting facts we learnt were:
  • A dingo is a sub-species of a wolf
  • Wolves are a part of the dog family, also known as canid family
  • The best way for wolves to survive is to stay in areas where their are no humans
  • The prey on weaker animals in herds when they are hunting
  • Only two human deaths have occurred as a result of wolves
  • Wolves are hunters but they also scavenge food
  • Wolves teeth are designed to tear meat a a part
  • Wolves are an apex predator which means they are at the top of the food chain
  • Wolves live in packs that hunt other animals
Some new and interesting vocabulary we discovered-


We will be presenting our work completed about this Skype soon...stay tuned! 

What do you know about wolves? 

What other endangered animals do you know about? 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Writing Poetry with Janelle Lee

Today we had a fantastic opportunity to work with a real author. We did this by using Skype to invite Janelle Lee into our classroom. Some of us remember Janelle from when she Skyped with Miss Spink's class last year.

Lately in writing, we have been investigating poetry. We have read a wide variety of poems and identified different devices poets use. When writing poetry we have experimented with onomatopoeia, alliteration, simile, metaphor and personification. We have had a go at using repeating refrains to add rhythm. We do that by counting the syllables in each line.

Today with Janelle we were challenged to write a poem about a 'journey'- this could have been any journey we have been on, physical, social or emotional. The structure of our poem had to have three stanzas, the first two were quatrains and the last a couplet.

During the Skype we 'live tweeted'- this was a great way to share what we were doing and how we were feeling.

Stay tuned for our poems when they are finished, we look forward to sharing.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Asking Questions When Reading

As readers who are actively engaged in the reading process we need to question what we have read before, during and after reading. This not only engages us in what we are reading but helps us with our comprehension. When we ask questions while reading, we are more likely to remember important information and details.

In reading, we have been learning how to generate questions throughout reading. This process has helped us to get our knowledge ready before reading, review important points, evaluate the quality, make connections and refine our predictions.

How does asking questions throughout reading help you when you are reading? 

Describe a text you are reading and tell us about some of your Before, During and After questions. 

Worm Farm

These past two terms my CBL group, The ‘Democraticz’ have been working extremely hard to come up with and complete our solution to 'Respond to an issue you want changed'. Our solution was to get two worm farms donated to our school so we can learn how to compost our “fruit” scraps into the worm farm. So we emailed and called Katie Nuthall (waste and litter officer for Craigieburn Council) to come to our school on Tuesday the 21st of May and she explained some of these things...

  • What goes into the worm farm
  • Worm tea
  • Worm farm stories (layers)
  • Worms reactions to different things
  • ADAM

A- D- A- M- stands for...


This acronym is the main areas to look after a worm farm and keep the worms safe and healthy in an eco friendly and a environmental way.

By Chelsea

Why do you think having a worm farm at school is important?

Do you know any interesting facts about worms?

Would you consider having a worm farm at home?

Monday, 27 May 2013

Making Connections


Our learning intention today was to connect with the text to form a deeper understanding of what we read.
Our Success criteria was to make the following connections:
- Text to Text
- Text to Self
- Text to World
- Text to Media.

After making connections with the whole class using the text 'Full Moon Barnyard Dance' we went off and made connections with our own books that we have been reading.
Below are some of the connections we came up with.

 By Cody
 By Tiffany

 By Makeelly

 By Chelsea

By Fatat

What text are you familiar with that you can make connections with?
What types of connections do you make frequently?
Why do you think it important to make connections with a text?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

CBL Reflection

Both 5/6 classes at ACPS have been working really hard to present their findings for their CBL research. The quality of work that has been produced is fantastic. Students have enjoyed researching their own questions and constructing new knowledge from their findings. The challenge solutions that have been carried out are of a very high standard! Both Mrs Cotter and myself are very proud of what all students have achieved. 

Your job now is to celebrate and reflect on all that you have achieved. Your task is to comment on this post. Describe your solution to 'Respond to an issue that you want changed'. Use the reflection prompts below to guide your thinking. Try to answer at least one prompt from each section. You are allowed to add your own thoughts as well

Reflection Prompts

Understanding the Challenge

• Explain the big idea, essential question, and the challenge.
• Why is this important to you and your community?
• Who does the challenge impact?

Guiding Questions/Research

• What were the most valuable guiding questions?
• What kinds of surprises did you encounter during your research?
• What resources were the most valuable?

The Solution

• Describe the process your team went through to come to your solution.
• What things did you try that didn’t seem to work?
• Why do you think your solution will make a difference?

Executing the Solution

• How did you put your solution into action?
• How did you measure its effectiveness?
• What obstacles did you face during this process?


• What challenges did you face working as a team?
• How did your group utilize individual talents?
• What have you learned about collaboration?

Review of Your Work

• Could you have solved this challenge differently?
• What would you do differently if you were to take on this challenge again?
• What is one thing you learned that you will never forget?


• What did you learn during this process that you didn’t know before?
• How can you apply this process and/or your solution to other similar challenges 
in the world today?
• What skills did you learn that apply to other areas of your learning?

Monday, 13 May 2013

Explaining Everything!

Over the past few days in Maths, we have been solving a range of worded problems. When solving problems we know there is a process to follow-

We have begun using the app on the iPads 'Explain Everything' as a way to work through different problems and explain how we have solved them. 

See and listen to some of your work-

By Campbell

By Chelsea

By Elysse

We are looking forward to making more videos to explain how we solve maths problems!

What did you think we did well?

Do you think we explained these problems well or do we need more practise? 

What problem solving strategies do you use when solving word problems? 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Should the pigeon drive the bus?

Today we read this hilarious picture story book- Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems. It is an unrealistic story of a pigeon trying to convince a bus driver that he should be allowed to drive the bus. The pigeon is quite convincing (or really just annoying because he nags so much). We discussed the character traits of the pigeon and decided that he is confident, stubborn, a nagger, cheeky, adventurous, a go-getter, crazy, curious and persistent!

We then talked about all the devices that we have learnt about that could convince somebody to do something and decided we would have a debate. 

Our learning intention was to- 
Identify strong arguments and use persuasive devices to convince the audience

Our success criteria was-
- Explain our point of view
- Use evidence to back up arguments

Here is our debate-

Vote now...

Would you let the pigeon drive the bus?
pollcode.com free polls  

What do you think? Would you let the pigeon drive the bus? 

Do you think we met our success criteria? Why / Why not? 

Have you ever done debating before? 

Homework Blog

Hi, we are the Junior Government (Campbell, Fatat, Adison, Elanur, Aykut, Neha and Ramy). We have been doing CBL for about a term. Our challenge was to respond to an issue we want changed.

First, we brainstormed issues we wanted changed, we then chose one of them in consultation with Miss Spink and Mrs Cotter. We chose the homework blog idea. So we persuaded Mrs Cotter and Miss Spink to maintain the homework blog. We are now getting it up and running.

Now our homework will be on the homework blog and not on our class blogs. The homework will be updated every four weeks. It is important to have a homework blog because it is helpful to kids who need the help and kids who don’t need the help. It is very useful because many people like to share their ideas and work.

The essential question was 'How democracy does an impact on the way we live?'.  Democracy has made impacts on our lives because it changes the way we live, it can make the way we live better or worse because we are able to have a say. By convincing Mrs Cotter and Miss Spink we were able to change the way we learn in class and out of class.

You will find the homework at

Hopefully it will be a big help to all students.  

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Making Inferences

We are learning to make inferences about a text in order to improve our reading comprehension.

We will be able to:
- Identify and explain information that is not directly stated.
- Draw conclusions and make generalisations.

Inferring is defined as-

Today in reading we read the inferring cards from the Into the Book Website. We had to infer what was happening from the clues in the text. It is important to identify key words that give the readers clues. 

We then wrote our own inferring cards. Can you infer what is happening from what we have written? 

Watch our video and test your inferring skills! 

Can you infer what is happening in these paragraphs? 

Discuss some inferences you have made from the text you are currently reading.

How has making these inferences improved your understanding of the text? 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Managing our own learning...

In Grade 5/6 we are trying to be organised learners who manage our time wisely. We have learnt to identify areas of our learning we do well, as well as elements we need to improve on.

This is something we will continue to work on for the rest of the year and will help us to become self managed, independent learners.

But what is managing our learning all about?

By the end of year six, our curriculum expects that we will-

We came up with the following ideas in order to help us manage our own learning...

This year we will....

How do you manage your learning? 

What are some areas you will be focussing on this year? 

Why is managing your own learning important? 

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

So much hard work to finish off the term...

Both 5/6 classes at ACPS have been working really hard to present their findings for their CBL research. The quality of work that has been produced is fantastic. Students have enjoyed researching their own questions and constructing new knowledge from their findings. We are looking forward to proposing our solutions next term.

Here is our CBL Challenge-

Here are just some of the well researched results of student investigations:

Guiding Question

Thursday, 21 March 2013

CBL- Guiding Questions and Guiding Activities

Hi my name is Campbell and I am the group leader for my CBL group. The two classes who are doing it together are 5/6A and 5/6B, that’s my class. For the last 5 weeks we have been set a task. To research and find the answer to our guiding question which most of us were given. My question was- ‘What Australia would be like without the Commonwealth?’

We were set another task to present our research and findings. Miss Spink and Miss Cotter showed us and explained to us ways we could present our findings and research. We went off and had to decide how we wanted to present, tell the teacher and go back to plan. I decided to do a video scribe. This is what mine looks like. 

I hope everyone does just as well as me. I am really looking forward to seeing other people’s presentations.

Have you ever done CBL?
What are you doing for your presentation?
What is your guiding question?