Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Creating IP Presentations

One of our class shared goals this week is to create a quality presentation for our individual IPs.

We are getting a significant amount of time to be working on these in class and have been asking the question, "What would 'good' look like for me?"

We have also been using an iceberg analogy to think about how we will bring all of our knowledge and understandings to the surface in our presentation.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

How Stuff Works And Our First IP

For the past couple of weeks, we have been working on our first personal interest projects (IPs) for the year. This round of IPs have a 'How Stuff Works' theme, requiring us to identify something that interests us that we would like to explain, ideally with a science focus. After we each thought of an initial idea, we then needed to think of some driving questions that would help us answer the bigger question - "How or why (something) works".

For those unfamiliar with IPs, we always have 3 aspects that we must cover or do, including...
1. Creating a plan.
2. Documenting progress (usually in the form of a series of blog posts).
3. Sharing our learning with others.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Readers' Cafē - 2017 Update

Our Readers' Cafē is the time every Friday morning when we get together with our peers to share our personal reading books for the week. We have had 17 sessions so far in 2017 and as we are nearly half way through the year, this seems like a good time to reflect on how we are doing, how we can improve the systems we have and set some important goals for ourselves.

In essence, Readers' Cafē is run by the students. They choose their own books for personal reading, they organise themselves to read at school and at home (getting signed off by a parent or guardian) and they run the Friday morning sharing sessions.

During a Reader's Cafē session, students are organised into groups of 4-6 (usually decided by how many times they have won Readers' Cafe). One person is the observer. They facilitate the session by keeping each person to a time limit when sharing their book/s. They are also responsible for awarding points to group members for how well they share their books (max 3 points) and how well they listen and ask questions of others (max 2 points). At the end of every session, the observer announces the winner, who then becomes an observer the following week.

Something new we have introduced this year are digital badges for Readers' Cafē. These are proving to be motivating for students, with many already having earned the Level One badge. Students are displaying all of the digital badges they are earning (as their are badges for other achievements too) on their individual blogs.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Land Yachts Footage

This video contains photos and footage of us working on our land yachts. Enjoy!

Click to view full screen and feel free to leave a comment.

More information about this project can be found here.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Kite Project - Construction and Testing

We are at the final stages of our kite technology project. We are busy finishing off our construction and some of us are even at the testing stage. We’ve been lucky to have a little bit of wind recently. This has given us a chance to see if our kites are capable of flight.
Some of us have discovered that our kites tumble through the air instead of staying lifted. We are making sure that our measurements are accurate and that our bridle lengths are even. We think this might be why some of our kites are spinning around.

Throughout last week we wrote step by step instructions on how to make our kites. We included diagrams and captions so that our instructions would be easy to follow.

We’ve been checking and discussing our rubric so that we know what we need to do to be successful. Managing our time and following the timeline has been important so that we finish our tasks and stay on track. Soon we will be marking ourselves against the rubric that we created and writing a blog about our kite making experience.

We hope for some decent wind this week so that we can really see what our kites are capable of.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Land Yachts Setting Sail

We are well underway building our land yachts. 

Those of us who opted into this project are now constructing, testing and modifying our creations ahead of the racing that will take place over the next couple of weeks. 

The 'managing self' key competency has certainly been a focus for us during this project. We have been very deliberate about creating a timeline together, putting the emphasis on managing our time, space and materials well in order to complete the project within the specified timeframe. Many of us have been doing this, although it has been a challenge for those who are involved in many other special interest groups and have found it hard to dedicate as much time to this project as others. 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Engineering Challenges - House Of Bricks

Yesterday we had the House of Bricks visit in the hall.

The instructor's name was Perdita. She gave us 3 engineering challenges to work on through our 90 minute session. These included building a vehicle that will travel as far as possible when launched down a ramp, building a bridge to hold 5 books, and making a device that will transport a domino over a 1 metre distance without being carried by a person.

We had a fantastic time working together in teams. Perdita said that we were one of the best classes she has had because of the way we related to each other and transitioned so quickly between activities.

We really enjoyed the session. Cooper said, "It was actually harder than I thought it would be. It surprised me. Especially making the cars. They were a real challenge".

Check out another short clip here.

This visit fits well with our How Stuff Works theme this year and has given us plenty to think about, including giving ideas about where we may take some interest projects later this term.