Rm231 FoSS Scientists

Our budding young scientists in Grade 5 have been learning about Variables and how to investigate them. During the investigations they have been learning things like how to use a two-coordinate graph, how to predict, how to identify variables and control them, setting standards and recording data. Fossweb.com | FOSS 3-6 Modules

To help them with their reflection and interpretation of data (we’ve done the what – so what?) we’d love you to click on the student blog links on the right hand side of our class blog and read our Measuring Capacity post.
Each student has posted their two-coordinate graph with a little explanation of what investigation they were doing and are asking other student scientists around the world two questions.
What do you notice? What would you suggest we do next?

Of course they’d be really excited if an experienced scientist left us a comment too!

Our Very First Skype Visitor

Late this morning we had our very first skype call.  We were “SQUIRTing” (aka: super quiet uninterrupted independent reading time) when the sound of a telephone ringing interrupted the silence of the classroom.

“Hello Daughter” said Ms H’s mum.

“Hello Mum, would you like to talk to my class?”  replied Ms H.


We crowded around the laptop (cos Ms H was working on it at her desk and it wasn’t plugged into the SMARTboard) and said hello.  Ms H’s mum was at home watching the news in New Zealand.  We asked her what was the temperature in NZ.  She said it was 20 degrees Celcius.  It’s the start of spring in NZ.  It’s rainy season in Thailand we told her and it’s 32 degrees Celcius.  She said it was probably too hot for her in Thailand and that she’s never been to Thailand.  We asked a few more questions.  Tanya asked ……..

“Was Ms H naughty when she was a kid?”

Ms H’s mum replied “Yes, there’s a lot of naughty things your teacher has done that I could tell you”.  Ms H was red-faced and quickly changed the subject!

We think skyping is awesome!  It means we get to talk to people around the world and see them at the same time.  We will skype with many people around the world as Ms H loves helping us connect with different people.

Readers in Room 231 – Check This Out!

I just came across this little gem of a site (thanks to our fabulous Miss Tara in the Learning Hub). It’s called What Should I Read Next?


Let me tell you a little about it …….. it’s a huge database that allows you to type in a book you like and get a list of others similar to it.  How cool is that?  Especially if there’s a book that you have really enjoyed!  I thought I’d give it a whirl with Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell, since we all enjoyed that story as our read-aloud so much.  Here’s what I got for a result.

What Should I Read Next?

You can register on the site so that you can get more accurate suggestions, add more books you’ve loved to your list and you’ll be helping to build and improve the database as well.  I was quite impressed with the suggestions if offered – what do you think?
One think I did notice is you have to be very accurate with the spelling of the title and the author’s name otherwise you get a Error 500 Internal Server Error message.  (So type carefully!!)  Remember our focus habit – accuracy and precision.  It’s especially helpful for typing in URLs.

While I was checking the spelling of Saraha Special’s author, I came across this website all about Esme Raji Codell.  There’s this particular page call Frequently Asked Questions for Esme Raji Codell, Author of Sahara Special. Keep scrolling down and reading all the questions because there’s a really good question there that asks Esme for any advice for aspiring young writers (which we all are in Room 231!!).  There’s some really good advice there!

Let me know what you think about  What Should I Read Next? and Frequently Asked Questions for Esme Raji Codell in the comments below – or better still, write your own blog post and link back to this one!

Happy Reading Room 231!

A Week in Review

Another week has passed and it was chocka-full of exciting learning!

We’ve spent the week investigating Variables (like last week) in Science except this time we’ve been investigating whether the variable of capacity affects the number of passengers a boat can hold.  Our prediction was that yes, capacity does affect the number of passengers and we thought that the bigger the capacity the more passengers could be loaded.

Watch the video below to see just how we were doing that.

We’ve also been learning about standards and two-point co-ordinate graphs!

In Writer’s Workshop this week, we’ve been working hard on a piece of writing that we’ve decided is worth making a commitment to – polishing it until it is the best writing we can do.  Techniques like writing across the page, zooming in to the heart of the story, creating strong leads and powerful endings, are things we’ve been practising.  Keep an eye out for those pieces of writing on our own individual blogs (filed in the Writer’s Workshop category).

Reader’s Workshop focus has been the importance of “Choosing Just Right Books” and recording our reading accurately in our reading logs.  Remember that it’s vital that at least 30 minutes of reading happens every day at home.  There’s been lots of testing taking place over the last week (DRA’s) so that students know exactly what their just right level is.  Don’t forget that if you’re not sure what the level of your book is, you can use the level wizard on our class wiki.

Number Puzzles & Multiple Towers Investigation 1 is now complete with our class learning about multiples and factors of numbers plus using multiple combinations to solve number puzzles.  Investigation 2 has begun with everyone designing a poster to show how to solve 35 x 28.  We’ll be posting our posters on our own individual blogs later next week (posted under the Math category).  Everyone is signed up for the Student Handbook online now – so check it out – see this blog post for instructions on how to log in and use this fabulous resource!

Please feel free to leave us a comment on our learning, any questions you may have or something you might want to see posted on our blog.  Remember – this is your window into our learning in Room 231!