Brain Breaks in 3G

Learning can be tough on the brain, especially with back to back lessons in the morning and afternoon!

As part of our Ready to Learn Plans and lessons around the wellbeing framework of the Berry Street Educational Model (BSEM), students in 3G aim to have a 3minute brain break in-between some sessions as a quick break and opportunity to re-group again after some solid focus and great learning.

Brain break activities can vary, depending on students’ mood, personal choice… and sometimes the weather! The most popular choices for our active bunch is a brisk walk/ 3 laps around the Astro Turf outside, or something simple and social like a thumb war. Today students opted for some laps outside, thumb wars or independent reading.

Secret Breakers Book Reviews by 4T

Check out some 4T’s recent book club book reviews below:

Secret Breakers by Liam CC

Mr. Smithies. We have managed to locate Van Der Essen’s phoenix.

Three children have been chosen to decipher a forbidden code. Over hundreds of years thousands of people have failed to find an answer and three children, namely Brodie, Tusia and Hunter, have been chosen.
My favourite part is when they realise the deciphering book is just ash. I enjoyed this because it is such a discovery and a devastating one at that.
I would recommend this book to children around the age of nine because it has moderately complicated concepts.
I give this book five stars.

Secret Breakers – Book Review by Romain

Imagine an ancient manuscript no one can read. Imagine a secret code for someone just like you.

A secret hidden for centuries. But Brodie Bray and her friends Tusia and Hunter like challenges and when Brodie receives a coded message through the post her life changes forever. She gets chosen for a secret team working to crack this most complicated code in the world to uncover the secret it hides.
I would give this book a rating of 5 out of 5 because it is everything a book could be: exciting, sad, adventurous, scary and impossible to stop reading. I would recommend this book to adventurous kids above the age of 7 who love to read. Children that like Harry Potter will love this book.

Secret Breakers by Lily

I loved this book. It was so exciting and it had so many great turning points in it. I really liked how it had so many interesting words in it and how there are so many great characters with such a different personality.
The only thing I didn’t like about it was that I had no idea what was happening in the start, but it got so much better and understandable.

Summary of the book:

Brodie gets a secret message in a birthday card even though it wasn’t even her birthday. The code tells her to go to the lamp post that told her to go to the Black Chamber ( a secret code cracking organisation.)
Brodie has to complete a challenge with total strangers to be able to get in.
When smithies tells them that they will work on MS 408, the code that is forbidden to crack, the three friends try as hard as they can to crack the code…

My rating:

I give this book a 4 and a half because I loved it so much but I didn’t really understand what was happening at the start.

Secret Breakers by Elliot

Imagine an ancient manuscript
No one can read
Imagine a secret code for 
Someone just like you

Three kids by the name Brodie, Hunter and Tusia have been chosen to figure out an ancient manuscript. They must figure out lots of clues to find the phoenix of light in her cloak of power, but there are those that are ready to kill to stop them. My favourite part is when the three of them find the first part of the code firebird because they finally know where they have to go and do.
I rate it 4 out of five stars and I rate it from 8 to 12 years old because little kids would not understand some bits.


Image result for storyathonCan you write a story that is EXACTLY 100 words?

STORYATHON is an exciting and free online event for Year 3 to Year 8 from Australia and New Zealand. Students are challenged to write a story that is EXACTLY 100 words.

Writing microstories is fun and provides students with an opportunity to celebrate writing. They’re tiny narratives challenging students to tighten their language, experiment with words and focus their message.

Grade 4 students have been given their own unique username and password and over the next few weeks write microstories at home on the following themes

  • Mythical Creature
  • Weird Adventure

Parents, you have a bit of homework yourself. We challenge you to write your

own microstory. Your theme is Space. Post your story in the comment section or bring it in with your child to share.

We look forward to reading these microstories.

Estimation Challenges!

On Monday 4TJ explored some estimation challenges during their maths sessions.

We began by exploring ‘how many’… How many balls in a cup? How many students at school? How many people in the crows? We focused on our reasoning – explaining our mathematical thinking.

Then things got really challenging. Students had to estimate how many 100s and 1000s on a humongous freckle! Some wonderful strategies were used. This included breaking up the big freckle into parts and estimating how many 100s and 1000s in each section, using the whiteboard or grids in maths books. Some students even estimated the surface area of the big freckle using pi!

This was followed by the tissue estimation challenge, where students had to explore how many tissue boxes would fit into our classroom. Students used practical strategies, like counting out the number of tissue boxes across the three dimensions of the room and others measured the room and compared this with the tissue box measurements.

All in all, some great problem solving happening in 4TJ – particularly with tricky problems like these with no precise answers in sight!


Berry St Education Model – Brain Breaks

Here at Bell Primary School, we’ve been using the Berry St Educational Model as part of our Wellbeing while at school. Morning Circles, Ready to Learn Scales and Brain Breaks have made their way into our daily routines.

Brain Breaks have proven especially popular. Brain Breaks are little activities, exercises and games ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes long, which give children a break during a lesson, allowing them to refocus and complete learning with new energy.

Some things we’ve used as Brain Breaks have been Memory Tag, Topic Talk Cards, exercise (like star jumps) and many more.

Have a chat with your child about the kids of brain breaks they use. Maybe you could come up with a few more and add them in the comments below.

Sleep Talk

On Wednesday Grades 4T and 4J were lucky enough to have parent expert Andrew Perkins, a sleep scientist, come and speak to them. The students – and teachers – were fascinated by Andrew’s talk. He discussed why we sleep, how sleep works and the sleep patterns of different animals. He also wired up Ivy to a sleep recording device, to show how brain waves and breathing patterns are recorded and analysed so, as a sleep scientist, he can help people who have sleep problems. Thanks for coming in and sharing with us Andrew!

Grade 4 Inquiry Expo Term 3

Wow! The grade 4 student inquiry expo was an amazing finish to term 3’s inquiry unit. The students applied an enormous amount of thinking during the course of designing their Rube Goldberg machines. The main objective was to build a Rube Goldberg inspired machine that included the scientific forces learnt. This could include; incline plane, decline plane, push and pull, friction, pullies and levers. Iteration upon iteration of design changes was made over the days leading up to the expo. The students were amazed at how their thinking had changed from their initial designs made only a week or so ago.

During the building process, our core school values were on display as students demonstrated true grit and resilence when testing, failing and improving their machines. It was ‘hard fun’! There were tears and frustration at times but also joy as well when it worked.

The design and building process was also provided a platform for students to explore and improve on their learning assets. A key focus for many students was communication and collaboration. We commend the students for making wise choices when formulating their groups. We had numerous conversations where the students were able to articulate how they were able to make compromises by adopting and adapting the ideas of others into their designs.

See Below some videos of successful and not so successful runs of their fabulous machines.

Click here

and Here

Problem Solving in 3F

Today we read a book about a wise man in India who did the king a favour. The king wanted to repay him so the wiseman told him he should give him some rice, starting with one grain and doubling each day for each square on his chessboard. The king didn’t know how much rice this was but was too proud to ask. OOPS. We know this never goes well.

Turns out when you double numbers 64 times they get BIG!

We explored what would happen if the chess board had 25 squares. students used a mix of their own knowledge, addition strategies and calculators to find out that at the end of 25 days the king had given away 16 777 216 grains of rice.


Some of the students finished this easily so I challenged them to start exploring how much rice would be owed on the 64th day. One group got a little hooked… I don’t think they did much else today. We got really excited when they hit trillions, then it just kept going! I’m not ashamed to say i had to resort to Google after quadrillion!


3/4 Estimation Experts!

The Grade 3/4s cleaned up today, winning ALL four prizes from the Family Maths Night!

Well done Kate, Indi, Izzy and Ella for the most accurate estimates from the Guestimation Station, which included the size of a watermelon, the number of froot loops in a jar, the length of a ribbon and the age of all the teachers from the maths team!


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