Makerspace Trial 2016

Our school has been chosen to participate in an Education QLD Makerspace Trial in 2016. There were fourteen schools chosen in total and we are the only school in the North QLD district.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 10.34.48 pm Our starter kit arrived a couple of weeks ago with an Osmo, Makey Makey, three Goldiblox sets, four littleBits sets and two Galileos. Further equipment will arrive early next year including a 3D printer! I will be posting in 2016 about our journey so make sure you drop back to read all about our new QBSS Makerspace.

Global Read Aloud 2015

We have had a very busy couple of months. 5SK teamed up with classes all across the globe to participate in the 2015 Global Read Aloud. We were super fortunate to have some amazing contributors who introduced us to new concepts that promoted deeper comprehension. You can check out our collaboration at Global Readers.


Our Class Dance

Here are the moves to our class dance courtesy of YouTube. We are learning them over the next two weeks. Any help with costumes will be appreciated.

We are on the home stretch now for presentation night. Last Wednesday we had a sewing bee and finished the skirts for the girls. Ryan’s mum is making the costumes for the boys. They are going to look fantastic! We will need assistance on the night just before the dance to get the students ready.

Student Blogs

We are super excited to announce that we have started our journey with Edublog’s Student blogs. Each student in the class has their very own blog to share work and the exciting events happening in our school year.

Edublogs has endless themes to choose from, and the students have enjoyed creating their blog with widgets and posts. We have teamed up with Mrs Pratt’s year 4/5 class in rural South Australia to create blogging buddies. They have completed one task and will continue further tasks as the year progresses.

One exciting aspect of Edublog Student blogs is that I can give students digital badges (created by Edublogs) when they show that they have a good understanding of digital citizenship skills. We are currently working on writing a quality comment, and the students are working towards receiving their first badge.


I want them to be able to:

1. Write a compliment about someone’s work

2. Add information – possibly something they have in common with the person, discussion about new learnings or add info they may know about the topic

3. Ask a question to promote further discussion

We have talked about leaving a positive mark online and the importance of being respectful at all times.

Our blogs are going to become a hub of activity so make sure you check back soon to see all the wonderful posts being published.

Collaborative Math Tasks

We are continuing our collaborative math journey. Today students were grouped into teams of four and assigned a role. As a team, they were required to solve a financial mathematics problem. The four roles were; Tables Guru, Sum Constructor, Solution Finder and Quiet Observer. I ran four rotations using these roles so that each participant was able to fulfil the job description.

Our students who were more confident completing the task became our Bartec workers and bankers. They individually had to solve the same problems, mark the groups work and give change.

After the session, we came back together to reflect on the task. Students noted that they were able to pinpoint where they made errors such as forgetting to carry and writing the sums out incorrectly. The hardest role they had was the quiet observer. One student noted that he could see an error, but he needed to leave his teammates find their mistake.

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The Importance of Learning to Type

Typing skills have become very relevant to our classroom this year. In previous years, student work was published in a variety of ways with technology included in some units. We have seen a big change this year with more unit assessment published via computers.

During our last assessment period I noticed students were experiencing some difficulty getting their work typed up in time. One task, in particular, took four hours to complete for a group of students. Knowing that Term 3 English units required students to type, edit and publish two pieces of assessment, I decided to add something new to our day.

After consulting with Craig Kemp, a renowned educator in Singapore, I have introduced 5SK to Typing Agent. We are currently on our trial at present, and the students are enjoying the modules. Our current focus is accuracy, and we will move on to wpm when students become more confident.

Enhancing our Math Lessons

One of my biggest goals after returning from EduTech 2015 is to provide more hands-on activities in the classroom. Well, today we did just that! 5SK were given the task of solving a real-life math problem in small groups. Not only that but they were also asked to present their answer via video to the class. Were they excited? YES! Were they nervous? YES!!

They broke into groups and brainstormed what they would need to know on the left side of their chart.







The next step was to decide on the best strategy to solve the problem. It was interesting to see their choices. Three out of the four groups chose Split Strategy. The final group went with the Lattice Method. They solved their problem together on their rough draft and then repeated the process for their video.

We came together at the end to watch the videos. By then the nerves had eased, and the students were eager to watch. 5SK’s videos were quite good for their first attempt. In our next filming activity, we can see where we can improve. (Not filming around bell time)

One positive aspect watching the videos is that we could see areas that needed a little tweaking like putting the measurement on the right-hand side and multiplication order. One group added thought bubbles and a second operation to check their answer which was a great idea. Overall it was a great experience that we will use more often.

Makerspaces in Schools

Stepping through the doors at EduTech 2015 was an exhilarating experience. Eight thousand attendees were gathering in one location to talk all things education is my equivalent of a shopping spree. There were dazzling resources from one end of South Bank Convention Centre to the other.

One area that caught my eye was the makerspace. It brought out my inner child. There were multiple tables laden with hands-on activities for each of us to complete. I saw teachers create circuit bracelets that glowed when fastened, pianos created out of simple home objects and synthesisers made from tiny magnetic circuits.

All I could think of is how much my students would love these within our school. Keep an eye out for some new additions soon. 🙂