Grade 4 

Term 3 2016

During term three we are undertaking our Chemical Science unit entitled ‘What’s the Matter?’ and have planned many hands on activities to enhance the learning opportunities for our students. Throughout the unit, students are encouraged to ‘Predict, Reason, Observe and Explain’ while undertaking a variety of experiments which demonstrate many scientific understandings. In addition to these activities, there will be some experiments to be completed at home during the term to support our students’ learning. These activities, while simple to carry out at home, are an important way to encourage independent discovery and are useful to demonstrate to parents the understandings we are developing during this unit of study.

Also, as an exciting part of our program, we have organised for a member of the PrimeSCI team, (previously known as Monash Education Unit) to come to our school to present two interactive science programs. The first is titled ‘States of Matter’. In this session, students undertake scientific investigations which develop the understandings underpinning the chemistry focus of this unit. We learn about solids, liquids and gases, and discover the existence of other states of matter. The second presentation is entitled ‘Crystal Chemistry’, again a great hands on session to develop further understandings of the chemical world around us.

Term three is also ‘Production’ term! During the term excitement will build, songs and dances will be perfected, costumes will be made, ‘Co-operation, Consideration, Caring, Contribution and Courtesy’ (our 5 Cs) will be paramount, and all these elements will culminate in three nights of fun for our students and parents.

Planning for the Grade four camp begins early this term (even though the camp is not until Monday, 28th November!), so please keep a look out for information and notices which will be distributed throughout the term. 

Term 2 2016

Term two activities for Grade four are many and varied. We participate in the swimming program every Thursday for six weeks, engage in Education Week activities, incorporating Book Week and the Grades 3-6 Athletics Day is on the 16th of May.

Our Inquiry unit this term is titled 'What's Our History?' and an important aspect of this unit is a Family Wheel, which is completed by every student. The 'Family Wheel' is similar to a family tree and students, with the assistance of parents, grandparents or other family members, fill in the names of past and present family members and their country of origin. Students all have the opportunity to share their information with the class, and we always hear very interesting stories about the history of the families in Grade four.

Some of the key questions we will address in this inquiry unit are:

  • Who lived in Australia first and how do we know?
  • Why did the great journeys of exploration occur?
  • What was life like for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples before the arrival of Europeans?
  • Why did Europeans settle in Australia?
  • What was the nature and consequences of contact between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and early traders, explorers and settlers?

To assist in developing an understanding of Aboriginal culture, we have a guest facilitator who will conduct sessions designed to touch on a number of areas of Indigenous culture as set out in curriculum guidelines. The key areas in Aboriginal culture, the history and beliefs, traditional geography, song and dance, language, hunting and traditional food, will be discussed. The aim of the session is to spark questions, share knowledge and to leave students feeling inspired to discover more about Australian Aboriginal culture.

As a part of this unit, students will also have the opportunity to make a presentation, using ICT, about a world explorer who may have had an impact on the development of Australia, or who had an influence on the European settlement of Australia. Students will develop questions which will assist in refining their research and final presentation. 

Click here to view our creative animations produced using iStop Motion.

Term 1 2016

This term we began by getting to know the students in our grades. The student presentations of their ‘All About Me’ items were a great way to find out about the things that were important to them, and provided a great forum for speaking to an audience. The Grade 4 teachers also made a presentation to their grade about the activities important to them. Students engaged in activities designed to identify the different forms of intelligences and the different ways they are used.

Our Term one Inquiry unit, ‘What Keeps Us Well?’ has been designed to assist students, through team-building activities, discussions, reading, research and the development of a short presentation using ICT, to identify the variety of elements in their lives which contribute to, and enhance, their well-being.

The elements of well-being we have identified have been as diverse as people loving and caring for us, nutrition, hydration, education, laughter, exercise, music, art and engaging with positive people (bucket-fillers).

Students have interviewed, and made a presentation, about someone who has achieved a goal, and discussed how that achievement has enhanced their interviewee’s life.

An important support to our unit is the Student Development Day, which incorporates activities designed and organized on the day by the ‘Coach Approach’ team. Students rotate through three activities:

  1. ‘Strive and Thrive’ workshop - students learn what it takes to be successful and the importance of never giving up
  2. Team-building – exploring the elements that form the foundations of working in a team, including problem solving, communication, team dynamics and trust

 As part of the day, students were asked to make an effort to bring a lunch which fits in with the aspects of good nutrition we have identified. We also asked that lunches be as rubbish free as possible and suggested that cold water would be a healthy accompaniment to lunch! 

Grade 4 students have responded enthusiastically to the ideas they encountered, and the activities they participated in, during this Inquiry unit. We hope they can utilize and build on this knowledge throughout the years, to permanently enhance their lives.

 

For details of other curriculum areas and activities planned throughout the year, please take the time to read the Grade Four Information document, which can be found on this web-site. You will also find photographs of the activities the Grade four students engage in as the year unfolds.