Science Excursion to Coburg High

It was a super day for our grade 4s who spent the day as scientists in the labs of Coburg High. We were guided by some student experts, including some ex-Bell students, and we did lots of interesting experiments… with one of the highlights looking at the effects of dry ice.


Launch of our Film-Making Inquiry

This week we have launched our film-making inquiry unit, which will be focused around the theme of friendship.

Students have been learning about movie scripts and comparing parts of the Inside Out script to clips from the film.

They have also started to participate in film-making workshops. Today 4T explored the different camera angles used in live action films and made their own mini-films. In 4J students explored sound in film, while in 3/4B they are looking at story-boarding and in 4A they are learning about stop-motion.

Each class will have a chance to participate in each of these workshops over the next couple of weeks.

Tournament of Minds

Preparation for Tournament Of Minds has begun, currently we are holding lunchtime sessions every Thursday to give the students a taste of what TOMs might be like. Currently we are just putting out feelers for how many students would like to participate so there is definitely still time for your child to come and join in if they missed this week’s session. Teams will not be created for TOMs until late in the term, currently we are just running sessions to get the students interested but encourage them to come to as many sessions as possible to show they are interested and have experience in the different activities.

We did hold information sessions for the students late last term but feel free to visit the website and speak to your child about whether this is something they would like to participate in.

TOM – About

Tournament of Minds is a problem solving programme for teams of students. TOM aims to enhance the potential of our youth by developing diverse skills, enterprise, time management, and the discipline to work collaboratively within a competitive environment.

Tournament of Minds

Today Lisa – from Prep – and a group of grade 5 students came and spoke to the Grade 4s about Tournament of Minds. This is an extra-curricular activity involving grades 4, 5 and 6 and involves teamwork, creativity and performance. Lisa explained how Tournament of Minds works and what it involves, including a weekly club at school during term 2 and part of term 3, which culminates in a competition on the weekend in term 3.

You may want to chat to your child about this and see whether they might be interested in coming along to the club in term 2 and seeing what it’s about.

Informal Measurement and Paper Planes

In Grade 4 we have been exploring measurement. One of the activities last week involved using informal units of measure to measure how far we could throw our paper aeroplanes (it turned out using an eraser was a pretty time consuming informal measurement unit!). This led to a discussion about comparing length using different units and the value of formal units of measure. We continued our investigations by using metric measurements, using technology to record our results.

4T thinking about Jetstar warning signs

Today’s thinking task in 4T was inspired by a flight I took on Jetstar last week. I saw the warning sign below and realised it was well in need for an update!

Students tried to identify all of the technology in the graphic (amazingly, many could identify the tamagochi – or at least I think it’s a tamagochi!). Lots of them knew some of the other retro devices, such as gameboys. When predicting the era of the image, many thought it to be from the late 1980s or 1990s.

They then began to design their own ‘updated’ warning signs with today’s technology – and we now plan on emailing Jetstar and letting them know that we’re happy to share our ideas (although, I’m not sure Jetstar will be so concerned about people carrying monkeys on their heads!). Some then went on to design what they think the warning sign may look like in 20 years time.


World’s Greatest Shave in Grade 4!

One of our wonderfully courageous Grade 4 students, Sharmila, will be shaving her head as part of the World’s Greatest Shave! She is helping raise money for the Leukemia Foundation, to help beat blood cancer.

If you’d like to support Sharmila, you can at this link.

Sharmila will be shaving her head along with some other brave Bell students at a school celebration on Friday 29th March between 3pm-4pm.

Good luck Sharmila!


Kids v Adults?

Today’s thinking prompts in 4T definitely led to a heated discussion!

We posed the following questions:

What can adults learn from children?

What can children learn from adults?

Who has it easier: adults or kids? Why?

The last question led to lots of discussion. Every child in the class suggested that kids have it easier than adults – and had to debate this point with me! Although a couple recognised the complexity of the questions and the fact that it depends on circumstances.

Some of the arguments were that: children have fewer responsibilities than adults, children know how to have fun, children don’t have to cook dinner, and – an interesting one – that if children commit a crime they are not fully responsible!

Odd One Out

The last couple of days in 4T we’ve been playing ‘Odd One Out’ as our maths warm-up.

This activity involves writing four numbers on the board. The students have to choose which number is the ‘odd one out’. They then need to record their reasoning – why do they think this number is different to the others? The emphasis is on mathematical reasoning and using mathematical language, and that there is not necessarily one correct answer. Students then move to a corner of the room that corresponds with their number and discuss with others their rationale, before sharing.

For example, numbers on the board are: 30, 28, 7, 14

Some responses:

7 because it is the only prime number.

7 because it is the only odd number.

30 because all the other numbers are a multiple of seven.

7 because it is the only single-digit number.

30 because it is in the 10s skip counting pattern.

We’ve been encouraging students to use mathematical language such as odd, even, multiples, factors, prime numbers and composite numbers.

This is a quick activity you could easily play at home or to fill time on a long car trip!

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