Christopher Blasdel visits

On Friday we were fortunate to have visiting artist Christopher Blasdel talk to us about aesthetics in music.

He introduced us to Shakuhachi.



The shakuhachi is a Japanese end-blown flute.The shakuhachi, originally introduced from China into Japan is traditionally made of bamboo.  Chris Sensai, played flutes from various countries to demonstrate the difference between what is aesthetically pleasing to our ear (harmony – wa) and chaos.


  • A very creative arrangement using Koto.
  • Oliver uses his voice to calm the chaos.
  • Taiyo using a double reed flute from Hungary.
  • The flute group show the difference between orderly and disorderly.








Semester 2, Week 2

What a fun time we had at the Cup Noodle Museum.  

Thank you so you mush for the offers of help and for those who could come along with us today. It made supervision much easier and allowed moments for some wonderful chats as well.  Thank you especially to Sean’s mum for being my translator and to Athul’s mum for a wonderful surprise of a birthday cake and gift at the end of today.  Oishi!

Check out some photos here on a slideshow (you might need to double click to start the photos)

A Wish Web

During morning meeting earlier this week we created a wish web by rolling a ball of string to each other.  When the string was rolled your way you had your chance to make a wish for the day.

It was so great to hear students wishing for the well-being of the group or for the success of the Summative assessment task.


Kath Murdoch visits 5H – A teacher who teaches teachers about teaching 

Kath came to 5H to model inquiry practice to the grade 5 teachers and work with the students reflect on the unit. We talked about the happenings throughout the unit and what was of value (or not) to us. The students used creative thinking to evaluate the unit’s work

Throughout the unit about energy, we learnt in many different ways… What has helped us learn about energy? 

  • Reading books
  • Accessing websites
  • Listening to the teacher
  • Visible thinking routines such as I See, I Think, I Wonder
  • Team experiments
  • Compiling a Google Doc to record our research
  • Watching videos
  • Making a video
  • Visiting the Cup Museum

How can we use our thinking to evaluate experiences? The students chose all sorts of methods to document their evaluation…

  • Catherine developed a T-chart showing what helpful and what was not
  • Elsie created a timeline rating tasks using negative or positive numbers
  • Maya designed a helpful/unhelpful thermometer
  • Julia did it in pictorial form
  • Phebe did a cut and paste of her work in order of value with an explanation for each
  • Harumi used a ‘Telling’ brain frame
  • Line graphing depicting each task and their value
  • A few students drew up lists and charts
  • Google Slides
  • Billy and Kenzo used a PowerPoint




Semester 2 – Week 1

Maths Games with Grade 6 – what a great way to start the new year!

please check the students’ comments to read their thoughts

img_3443 img_3442


A Special Guest

As part of her Personal Project, Lisa Ito, a year 10 student, visited grade 5 this morning to run a science-based workshop with all the girls.  The purpose of her visit was to encourage more young girls into STEM field studies.

We began the session be drawing a scientist.  Interestingly, most of us drew male scientists! There were a few ‘ahas’ around the room as we realized what we’d done!  POINT MADE!

Lisa introduced us to STEM research.

What is STEM? – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

She also presented:

  • Notable female figures in the STEM fields!
  • What problems might women in STEM face?
  • Why is it important to have more female scientists?

Lisa provided many interesting facts from her research…

  • Girls tend to lose interest in math and science at age 8.
  • Less then 25% of engineering degrees are awarded to women
  • (In the US) 45% of science related degrees are awarded to women, only 22% of these are engineers
  • (In the US) 24% of CEOs are women
  • Scientifically, girls are bad at science – FALSE
  • From 1990 to 2011 female engineers have decreased FALSE
  • Girls perform just as well as boys in school TRUE

We also looked at a collection of toys and identified which were more advertised for boys or girls?

We discussed – 

  • How we think the different values of these toys, set an expectation for boys and girls?
  • How we think this affects the interests of boys and girls?

The toys that are most likely to be educational and to develop childrens physical, cognitive, artistic, and other skills were typically categorized as neutral or moderately masculine.


We viewed and had many discussions about related videos:

What were the videos were talking about?  How particular videos made us feel.  Any personal experiences, on being steered away from math and science?

  1. Inspire Her Mind – Verizon Commercial
  2. A Mighty Girl
  3. Olivia Hallisey and Ann Makosinski

Well done and thank you to Lisa for a successful and informative session.  I’m sure the grade 5 girls would appreciate the opportunity to share their thought on this session with you.