Literacy Circles

This term we are beginning Literacy Circles. It is a short program where we discuss in groups the particular book that was provided to us. Within these groups, everyone has different roles set as homework to be completed by the next meeting, which holds every week. There are 6 different roles, Discussion Director, Word Watcher, Passage Master, Captain/Contessa of Comprehension, Connector and Tally Master. Each week we will be changing our roles until we finish reading the book. This week, I am taking on the role of the Contessa of Comprehension.

The job of the Contessa/Captain consists of creating specific questions to ask the group about the book. Firstly, you must create 3 “Right There” questions. These are simple questions with quite obvious answers, in fact the answers are usually right in front of you. These questions usually begin with statements such as “Who is”, “What is” or “When is”, usually something along those lines.

Secondly, you develop a “Think and Search” question. These questions require your group members to take up the book and read several sentences/paragraphs to discover the answer. It also makes them have to combine information from throughout the book. “Think and Search” questions usually start with “Summarize”, “Compare” or “What Caused”. Something along those lines.

Lastly, you make up an “On My Own” question. “On My Own” questions have answers not in the book at all. These questions require for you to look back to your prior knowledge and find something to support your opinion. There aren’t really any sentence starters for this question because it’s designed for you to make and shape it on your own, addressing the title.

Term 3 Unit Goals Reflection

Term 3 Reflection

Section 1

This terms focus for our integrated unit was Natural Disasters. Throughout the unit, 5/6’s learnt about different types of natural disasters. We looked at how they were created, the environments required, the before and after effects and more of the basic facts to know about them. Towards the end of term, we moved on to developing our projects. Every 5/6 student was asked to pick a natural disaster of their choice and produce a 2+ paged information text around their topic. We started by filling out a question matrix then developing a few main questions from those. The project focuses on researching and answering these questions in a precise and detailed form. While working, we were asked to keep in mind and check off the success criteria during the course of the project.

The natural disaster I chose to focus on was Blizzards. I thought that it wasn’t a very popular natural disasters, I know little about it and I thought it might be an intriguing topic.

 

3 facts that I found interesting/surprising

  • There are 3 different types of blizzards. A Traditional/Snowstorm blizzard, a Ground blizzard and a Lake Effect blizzard. They may function a bit differently but they all lead to the same effects. Some of the main differences include the way the different blizzards blows around the snow, the areas they occur in, how frequently each one occurs and a few more factors.

 

  • The 1972 Iran Blizzard killed 4 000 people and injured many, many more. How the blizzards accomplish this is that majority of the time, people are buried by the snow or the snow becomes too heavy for roofs to hold so they cave n and possibly destroy houses. I found this surprising because I didn’t think that blizzards were so harmful. In fact, I thought they killed close to very little people.

 

  • Blizzards can reduce your vision to under 3 metres in front of you, which is called Zero Visibility. This can definitely cause a major difference and danger to one’s everyday life. This fact I found quite surprising because all I thought a blizzard would be like is a simple snowstorm with an occasional bad spot. Obviously, the effects are a lot worse than I thought but I never actually realised that they would be so severe.

 

2 understandings I have

 

  • Blizzards do have a lot of cautions to them and there are many ways that you could be killed or injured during one. There are a fair few different ways they can harm you such as reducing your visibility, make you seriously sick, cause a flood after the storm and could even hurt your economical state. All these could have a range of different results starting from hardly dangerous to severely threatening.

 

  • Blizzards aren’t very frequent and don’t occur very often. They are one of the more unpopular natural disasters because they require such a specific, cold climate to actually take place and many places in the world aren’t like that at all. Although, there are still a fair few places a blizzard could occur but still less than for many other natural disasters.

 

 

 

1 wonder I still have

 

  • A question that I wasn’t able to answer was more around the “who” area. For instance, who trains others or has the training to fight/be better prepared for blizzards. Is it voluntary or are certain people chosen? Who has the knowledge to prevent a blizzard? Who can develop better ways to stop or reduce the damage of a blizzard?

 

Section 2

 

For me, this paragraph will not be about what I learnt, but about the skills and the strategies I used and developed and how I went about this unit.

 

What were the most important things I had learned?

 

Organisation is key.

Keeping your project and research organised is so important. Losing track of written paragraphs, researched information or even a web link could mean more and more time spent on regaining it appose to making your project even better. It is also a great habit for me to get into since I’ll be going into high-school fairly shorty, then from their Uni.

 

Check your criteria.

Looking at your success criteria throughout your project can really help you achieve the best you can. This way, you can see what you have done, what you are yet to do and where in your project that would fit. It also makes it a lot easier at the end of the process. Instead of having to read over and check you have everything set in the criteria, you will already know since you have ticked what you have done and left what you haven’t. Although, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to read over your piece, you just don’t want to have to be looking for that criteria as appose to reading it the way your audience would.

 

How did I learn this?

 

When writing the first information report we did, I realised how vital it was to be organised with your work. The topic I chose to focus on was earthquakes and everything I had learnt about earthquakes was split into 2 books (Integrated 1&2). Since we were writing the actual report in our draft books, this meant I had to keep track of the 3 books and make sure I didn’t lose anything or mess anything up. This is when I realised I needed to develop some type of system or strategy to organise all my information, at which point I did.

 

During my project was when I discovered how important it is that I check over the criteria provided. I knew that it would save time at the end of the process and it would also help me realise what I was yet to do. Having used it as a checklist throughout the whole project was a real help. I could see ways that I could use the criteria to help make my information report even better. It could also help me find the right place to put the things on the checklist in my report.

 

 

What am I going to do with what I have learnt?

 

For both strategies, I will definitely use them as skills for my future. Since I am going to high school in a matter of months and then university after that, I figure these skills and strategies will become most useful. Compared to primary school, I know that there will be a lot more projects and assignments then I’m used to and I’m sure that these strategies will help me through them. I also hope that I’ll be able to use and develop them in whatever job I am yet to follow. Whether I become a vet, accountant or a teacher, these are lifelong skills that I know will be useful in whatever the future holds for me.

 

 

Assessment Matrix

 

I feel I covered the Assessment Matrix fairly well. There may have been parts where I may not have been as confident as I was in others but that’s’ just all part of it. Some of the parts set out in the criteria were new and have only been taught and used once so obviously I wouldn’t be so confident about those. An example is the Systems Analysis. I found it a bit difficult to grasp the concept of what it is and how to do it but I gave it my best shot and that’s all I can do. But then again, there were a few things that I felt comfortable doing and I feel I did them well.

 

Beginning Unit Goals

 

Click here to read my goals from the beginning of the term.

 

Science

I feel I did the best I could to achieve my science goals. We covered the 4 in class but I feel I need to go deeper. Each topic was touched on and I still did learn a lot, just not enough that I hoped for which is completely understand regarding the time given. What I did learn I feel is the important part of my goals and will be of future use. It broke down the basics to give me a brief but solid understanding of the topic of my goal which I can now take and use to expand my knowledge.

 

Reading & Viewing/Writing

These two goals I feel I completed in my project. My R&V goal was about selecting and navigating my way around styles of text using tools such as table of contents, glossary, headings and subheadings. I feel I achieved this goal while researching blizzards for my project and have used these tools numerous times over the course of this term. My writing goal was to develop different types of text while experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience. I think I accomplished this goal while writing up my information report. I had learnt about aspects of this goal throughout the unit and I feel I put it to use while developing my report.

 

Personal

My personal learning goal was about challenging my academic ability and to challenge myself by trying something new (regarding my project). I feel I demonstrated this by choosing to focus my project on blizzards. Blizzards was never a natural disaster we focused on in class and I had never really thought deeply about them let alone doing a project on them. I figured that since I didn’t really know much about them, what better time to learn then now? So I do feel that I competed my personal goal.

 

 

Thanks for reading 🙂

Blizzards – Information Text

This term, our unit topic was “Natural Disasters”. Each 5/6 student was asked to create a 2+ paged information text around the natural disaster of their choice. We were also asked to include what we have learnt in this term about forming and information/explanation text.  For example, using impersonal voice and cause and effect language was asked to be included in our report.

The natural disaster I chose was blizzards and below you will find links to my information text, question matrix and assessment rubric.

Enjoy 🙂

Blizzards – Information Text

Question Matrix

Assessment Rubric

 

BTN – Working in Defence

This BTN is about getting a little taste of what it might be like working in the Defence Force.

The Defence Force has developed a way to try and get younger Aussie to enlist in their field. It’s a 4 day work experience of learning the ropes around being in the Army, Air Force or Navy. Those who go will spend 1 day in the life of an Army soldier working on camouflage, weapons and many other skills and another in the Air Force aboard a C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Here they get to roam around the plane and even go into the cockpit, both once in a lifetime opportunities. Also, the students who take part in this experiences will get to stay overnight on the HMAS Adelaide ship as part of their practise of being in the Navy. Here they got to talk to people about their life in the  military as well as gaining more and more knowledge of what it’s like to be a part of the Defence Force.

Those students who have been involved in this work experience believe it is a great opportunity and believe that they will be working in this field when they grow older.

I believe giving them a small taste is a great way to encourage more young Aussies to join the military, I just wonder why I haven’t heard of it before? Is it new or has it been around for a while now?

The whole point of this system is to encourage more and more people to join the Defence Force. They have a goal to have 62 000 more people employed by 2025, so if this sounds like something you might want to do, look into it and maybe try out the program. If not, still do it! You’ll never know until you try.

100 WC Week#1

You guys have all seen those movies where the kids have the worst day but then somehow they manage to land a fairy-tale ending? That’s me, right about now. Well, except the whole fairy-tale part.

Firstly, I missed my bus by 15 minutes. Fun, right? So then I had to run to school (a long way) only to get there way after roll call. I then run into class, trip over someone’s legs, fall flat on my face and spill my books everywhere. I thought, “Well this is a great start to the term,” but then I figured, it can only go up from here, right?

 

In this 100WC, one of my goals was to include a bit of sarcasm. I don’t use it to much in my writing so I decided to experiment with it a little and look for some things I could do in the future with it.

BTN 5 Dollar Note

This BTN is about Australia’s 5 dollar note and how it might be changed a little.

Australian money has been around forever. It’s had the same shape and style the whole duration of its time, but not so much anymore. The Reserve Bank Australia decided it was time for a money makeover. Soon, our 5 dollar note will be slowly replaced by a new one (as will all our other currency notes). It will retain the same shape but have a subtly different style. Some different features include a middle window and two new pictures, the Eastern Spinebill (an Australian bird) and the Prickly Moses Wattle (an Australian plant). So, our note will be getting a new design, but why?

One of the main reasons for this “Money Makeover”, besides the fact that it’s about time, is to strengthen the security levels of our notes. Many people have, and will, try to make copies of money to make themselves a millionaire but the Reserve Bank saw to this years ago and it became the reason why our money became plastic. Anyway, in this new style, a few high security elements have been added. These are basically just to keep people from copying /printing money. Some of these details is the window in the centre, like I said before, there’s micro printing, words printed so small you usually need a magnifying glass to read them, and a star that has seven points (only shown when you hold it up to the light. There are many safety benefits to this new update but there’s also another very exciting addition for some people.

For the first time, money has included the use of braille. This is fantastic news for those blind or visually impaired. The Reserve Bank did this thanks to the work of Connor, a blind boy who campaigned for this to happen. Having heard his arguments, the bank decided that it would be a good idea and have now gone forth and used it in this design.

So, what I’ve learnt from this BTN is that the Reserve Bank of Australia has decided to restyle our currency notes. I recognise that they are quite old and are due to be re-designed. I also learnt that features of this change would consist of higher security and the use of braille, from my understanding, this is to stop people from copying and making their own money by printing or other means. As I mentioned earlier, Australia has planned to re-do all our notes so I wonder how long it will be until we replace them all?

100 WC Week#7

This is it. We were so close, but then they kicked the equalising goal. Onto penalties, the soccer ball flying in the net each time, except the last one. Our goalie took an unbelievable dive which costed our opposition the goal. This is our chance. I walk up to the ball, more nervous than ever and take my postion. I run at the ball. My nerves leave me. This is what I’m meant to do. My foot drives through the ball, forcing through the arms of a desperate goalie The crowd’s roars surround me and my team are sprinting my way, faces beaming with joy. That’s when I knew I had done it.

The goal for this 100 WC is to see if I could paint a picture in the audiences head without writing my piece with heaps of descriptive language. I’ve been trying to get people to be able to visualise my writing pieces and I started with simple descriptive pieces. Now, I want to be able to write a narrative and use a  few strong words to really help set the scene.

100 WC Week#6

I love watching the sky transform throughout the day. It puts on a show of extraordinary colours. On a cool, summer’s dawn, the sun will rise and create a beautiful, pink glow, almost like a flamingo. In the afternoon, blue surrounds us, maybe a few clouds, but the sun has always poked its way through their walls. Then at night we lie underneath a sheet of darkness. Black is everywhere, accompanied by the shimmering moon and gleaming stars.

Our world is an amazing place, filled with grace and beauty. To fully achieve life, you must see the elegance it has to offer.

A goal I had while writing this 100WC is to try to make my audience think about the wonderful world they live in and appreciate it. I tried to use descriptive words to really try to set the scene and emphasise our surroundings

BTN Youngest Olympian

This BTN article is about an interesting athlete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Gaurika, at age 13, is the youngest ever athlete to qualify for the Olympics. The sport she qualified for was swimming, one of her most cherished passions. As per normal, the media has bombarded her with interviews and talks because everyone wants to at least have a glimpse at the youngest Olympic competitor. She feels quite proud holding this title and she hopes the people around her do too.

Gaurika represents Nepal, a country in South Asia and her original birthplace. Over 10 years ago, Gaurika and her family moved to England but after some persuasion, she was given the right to represent her home country.

A future goal of Gaurika’s, as she states in an interview, is to qualify and possible win a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It would be a great honour to her and she’s hoping for the best. She has already achieved so much, having worked so hard to get where she is at her young age today.

A question I am left with is that is there a certain age you must be to qualify for the Olympic Games? If so, how far off is Gaurika from it? I can’t imagine she could be too far off but, you never know.

100 WC Week#5

I’m flying, soaring over miles of untouched, beautiful land. I pass forests and jungles of tall, green trees with their forever calming sense of peace. Through the forests I see animals. Gorgeous creatures unknown to a life of threat and danger but to innocence and freedom.

I glide over high rising mountains, surrounded by low, misty clouds. I fall slowly in the air and pass the smooth, stone surface of the hilltop. I float across Open Ocean, reflections of the illuminating rainbow sky, bouncing of the water’s surface. As I stare into the water it begins to turn green, mimicking the sky’s thrilling display.