Match Stick Towers

This week we worked together to create towers.

Our goal was to create the tallest free standing tower we could using only 100 match sticks and a ball of play dough.

Tahlia and Johnson  Max Tower

Isabel  brodie match stick tower

Aneshka tower

Lets learn to ANIMATE…

Photo 16-09-2015 7 05 47 pmAnimation & Drawing by Do Ink is the fun, creative way to make animations on your iPad. The app was designed to be easy for beginners and young animators, With drawing editor you can create background scenes, characters and objects. The composition editor is used to combine your artwork – there is a Do Ink library to choose pictures and backgrounds from as well. Then it’s as easy as saving to the camera roll and sharing your creations with friends, family and classmates. The Animation and Drawing by Do Ink is $7.99 but you can buy it as a bundle with Green Screen by Do Ink for $9.99 

Today’s lesson was about learning how to use the app. We watched the following tutorial and then created our own animation of a buzzing fly.

The grade twos next task was to create an underwater animation with two moving sea creatures. This activity involved the grade twos using the drawing tools in new drawing to personalise their animation.

Create an animated undersea scene

  • Include one swimming fish
  • Include one jiggling octopus

fish1  sea1

Here’s a sneak peak of them hard at work…

The year two children have been very busy creating undersea pictures. Here’s a sample of how clever the grade two’s and Ms McLeod are…

Bee Bot Mazes – Take Two

Today saw the grade twos take on the bee bot maze making challenge for the second time. After discussing the design process – idea, design, build and test and the problems some of us encountered last week…

  • not agreeing
  • arguing
  • running out of materials
  • not finishing
  • no teamwork
  • not sharing
  • not co-operating
  • over programming the bee-bot
  • constructed all the maze without testing
  • not testing

The grade twos set about creating a maze for their bee-bot that had two left hand turns, two right hand turns and two bridges to go underneath. There was to be no fancy building this week until the bee-bot travelled from the start of the maze to the end. Materials were limited and there needed to be at least five coding tests as the mazes were built.

Photo 5-11-2015 12 13 19 pm

The noise level wasn’t as loud this week…each team worked together, discussed moves, tested as they went, rebuilt, added coding instructions as they worked towards achieving a result. Not everyone got the chance to use the fancy materials but most groups produced a maze and coded a bee-bot to move around it. A far higher success rate than last week. The excitement was still there as they cheered their bee-bot to make it to the finish 🙂

Making Quality Comments

Mrs Paterno has been teaching the Year Fives how to write quality comments.

Here are the guidelines they are following.

  • Begin like a letter
  • Compliment the writer
  • Add new information
  • Make a connection
  • Finish with a question
  • Write about the post
  • Do not include any personal information, especially your last name
  • Carefully proofread and edit


This week we will be celebrating the Olympics with our own school based Oatylympics.

Here are some websites you might find helpful – just in case your teachers ask you to do a research project focussing on the Olympics.


“Official source of Olympic Games sports, countries, results, medals, schedule, athlete bios, teams, news, photos, videos for Summer and Winter Olympics.”

London 2012

“Official Website for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Live results, competition schedule, news, photos, videos, medal count, athlete bios.”

Australia London 2012

“Official Site of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team for London Olympics. News, Athlete Blogs, Bios, Video, Galleries, Online Games and Education Resources.”

ABC News – The Olympics

“News reports on the games, athlete biographies, and links to audio news broadcasts.”



Maths Apps – Tangrams

This week we experimented with two Tangram Apps.

My First Tangrams (Free or $1.99) is a simplified version of a Tangram puzzle. The  background is indented to show where the pieces need to go. They are all the right way up.

TanZen HD (Free or $2.99) is a more traditional version of the game. Students have to work hard to rotate and place the pieces in the correct positons to solve the puzzles.

I introduced both apps at the same time and let my year two students decide which one they wanted to explore. It was good that the students had an opportunity to choose the app that best suited their mood and abilities.

Maths Apps

From our Year One Info Lit Blog,

Posted by Samone Robertson

We looked at two new Maths Apps today, both of which are targeted at improving mental computation skills.

The first app we looked at was Math Bingo.   (99c) We chose to play the addition bingo card at the easiest level. This suited the level of our grade ones.  However the beauty of this app is that there are three difficlty levels to choose from (easy, medium and hard) to ensure that kids at all stages are catered for.  You can also choose from the four different operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) depending on the learning needs of your target group or individual child.  The students found this app very easy to use and especially loved that achieving a high score came with a reward – a ‘bingo bug’ that crawls around the screen and can be played with by dragging or tilting the iPad.  We had a competition going to see who could collect the most ‘bingo bug’s.

The second app we tried was Super 7. (99c)

The concept of the game is simple.  You have to draw lines between floating single digit numbers until they add up to seven.  It sounds easy however gradually the numbers become more difficult to work with as multipliers, dividers and negatives are thrown into the mix. If you allow numbers that add up to more than 7 bump into each other it’s game over.  As the screen fills with more and more numbers, you need to do some frantic, speedy adding.  It’s a great way to make maths fun and develop mental computation skills.


Maths Apps

From our Year One Info Lit Blog,

Posted by Samone Robertson

We introduced the kids to 123 Sheep! today.  ($1.99) This app offers three different games that allow students to use their own mathematical problem solving to help a farmer with his sheep.  The helicopter round up has a helicopter that the student maneuvers around the farm to find groups of sheep using addition and even/odd.  The round up game has the student moving sheep into pens eg. moving 24 sheep into 3 pens.  In this case the student can use addition, division, multiplication, or any other problem solving skill that allows them to figure it out.  The last game, Jump, involves counting sheep by different number patterns.  It is a great app because it doesn’t direct students to use one particular technique to solve the problems.  The kids played the games in pairs today which worked really well. There was lots of peer teaching going on.  It would also be a great tool to use 1:1 with a student to create conversation about why they are solving a problem in a particular way or to challenge them to fand a different way to solve the problem.  It costs $2.99 and is a great app that offers many learning opportunities.

The second app we looked at today was Math Express.  (Free) This is a fun and simple maths app designed to practice addition of 2 numbers from 1-10.  The kids loved this one because it is quite interactive and they get a certificate at the end.  Each new game is a new start which means the kids can play it over and over again.  This was a winner with the kids today and with no price tag attatched it is worth installing.

The Runaway Hug

From our Year One Info Lit Blog,

Posted by Samone Robertson

Today we read our first shortlisted book for 2012 Book of the Year.  The Runaway Hug is in the Early Childhood category and is written by Nick Bland.  It is about a little girl called Lucy who wants a hug from her Mum before going to bed.  The problem is that Mummy only has one hug left.  Lucy and Mummy agree that Lucy will just borrow the hug and she promises to give it back.  Off she goes to share the hug with everyone in her family.  Along the way it becomes softer, sleepier, bigger, even peanut-buttery.  But when the hug runs away, Lucy discovers that it may not be so easy to get it back.  I loved this book (I’ll definately be voting for it!).  I especially loved the illustrations which depict beautifully all the messy, wonderful, lovingness that is family.  After sharing this book we talked about how important  hugs are and how special they can make us feel.  We then made our very own ‘Book of Hugs’  containing  ‘hug vouchers’ meant specifically for the members of our family.  There’ll be a lot of hugs being shared in our Oatlands community tonight!

Welcome Back

From our Year One Info Lit Blog,

Posted by Samone Robertson

Welcome back everyone.  We are really excited about term three and can’t wait to share all of the wonderful activities we have planned with you.  This term we will be focusing on some of the Early Childhood and Picture books that have been shortlisted for Book of the Year 2012.  The shortlist was announced on April 3rd and the winners will be announced on Friday 17th August.  Before the official winner is announced we will have our very own voting system where we get to choose the book that we think deserves to win.  It is always very interesting to see if our winning book is the same as the Children’s Book Council winner.  The announcement of the winning title will be made before Children’s Book Week which runs from Saturday 18th – Friday 24th August.  The theme for Book Week this year is “Champions Read”. For more information on the awards and book week you can visit