Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Term 4 Newsletter

Kia Ora everyone,

Welcome to Term 4 of 2010. It’s hard to believe we are now in the final term of the year. It is fantastic to finally see the sun after a very long and wet winter.
Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who helped out during our very successful Life of Riley Production at the end of Term 3. It was a huge process for everyone involved, right from the initial ideas and dance practices through to the final performances. The children looked fantastic on stage in their creative costumes and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
The children produced some quality work in all areas last term. For the conclusion of our inquiry on town planning the students were asked to create and present a proposal on a new community facility in Eastbourne. Every child completed their proposal using Keynote. These presentations can be viewed on the class blogs. They are well worth a look and the children would really value your feedback. There is also fantastic fabric art featured on these blogs so take your time to have a look around!
As usual, Term 4 is set to be another busy one, especially at the beginning of the term where the children will be involved in numerous assessments to check progress. Week 4 has been set aside for completing maths basic facts tests, STAR & PAT reading and spelling tests.
Below is a run down on the term. Feel free to contact your child’s classroom teacher if there is anything you wish to discuss further.

Our writing focus for this term is narrative, where we will be exploring the components of what makes a good narrative including story starters, developing characters and setting a scene. This will really give the children the opportunity to let their imagination go wild in their writing. We are continuing to strive for accuracy in our writing so punctuation and spelling is still a major focus.
We conclude the year with a poetry unit.
Throughout our Inquiry and Reading lessons the focus will be on developing information literacy skills, looking particularly at summarising key ideas into our own words.

We start the term revising some key concepts from the year. We will be focusing particularly on fractions, decimals, place value and operational strategies. We then move onto Algebra looking at sequential patterns and rules. We end the term looking at Measurement studying Time and Money. Please continue to help your children at home with their basic facts. Many children know these but need to become quicker with their recall.

Our big inquiry topic for this term is “What’s the Plan Stan?” This unit focuses on Natural Disasters and how to prepare ourselves for an emergency. This is a very current and relevant unit at the moment especially with the Canterbury earthquake occurring last month.

Towards the end of the term all classes will be involved in ‘Peer Mediation’ training. This is a programme created by the Peace Foundation and is part of their ‘Cool Schools’ initiative. In this programme the children will learn the skills of resolving conflict. At the end of the programme the Year 5 students will have an opportunity to apply to be a Peer Mediator in the playground at lunchtime so they can put these skills to good use. This will be an excellent leadership opportunity for children when they are in Year 6.

Physical Education
An exciting term for PE is planned, starting off with Athletics. The children will be taking part in Long Jump, High Jump, Vortex, Shot put, Quoit and Sprints. This leads in nicely to our school athletics day and Zone tournaments. We end the term with Swimming starting again down at the local pool.

This term we will be studying photography. Students will learn how to take a quality photo and there will be plenty of opportunities to take photos. We may need some extra cameras for these sessions so if you have a digital camera at home that you are happy to let your child use please let us know.

We will continue blogging our weekly homework this term. The children will have the homework tasks explained to them on a Monday. Many of the tasks for this term will focus on our Inquiry unit. The children will be asked to share what they have learned with you at home. They will also have between 8-10 spelling words to learn each week. We understand it is difficult for some students to have access to a computer at home so there is always a hard copy available for them to stick in their books on Monday.

As teachers, we also understand the weeks can be very busy and many children have a lot of after school activities to attend. If for any reason your child is unable to complete their homework, please write a brief note in their book or email your classroom teacher with an explanation.

This will be Week 9 and planning is currently underway. Activities will be finalised by the middle of the term. As usual, we will need a lot of parent support for these days. More information will be sent home once ideas and dates are confirmed.

Year 5 and 6 Camp 2011
There will be a meeting for Forest Lakes Camp 2011 in Week 9. Details will be sent out closer to the time. You might like to consider whether you would like to be a parent supervisor. Preference will be given to parents who can attend the whole week in 2011.

Important Reminders

If you still have your child’s portfolio please return it for updating this term. They will go out in Week 10 with the reports.

Stationery Check

Many students are now missing pens, pencils, rulers, plastic pockets and calculators. These are necessary for everyday class work. Can you please ask your child if they need any items and replace them. Thank you.

Sun Hats & Drink Bottles

It’s term 4 and each child needs a hat to wear everyday outside. It needs to be a wide brimmed hat, not a cap and ideally should be left at school in their desk for easy access. Thank you to those students who have remembered. Students not wearing hats have to stay in the shade area by the junior rooms.
It is also recommended the children have their own named drink bottle at school. As the days get warmer it's important they are fully hydrated.

Footwear and clothing

This term we need students to wear clothing that is suitable for outdoor sport. Please ensure your child wears shoes that they can run easily in (especially on Tuesdays as this is our athletics day.) Jandals and boots are not appropriate.
If you have any concerns or worries please contact your child’s teacher by leaving a phone message at the office or by email: teachers surname @ muritai.school.nz.

Kind Regards The Year 5 and 6 team

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