Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Rm 22 MAC Parent Information Evening

Hello everyone!

In a bid to help the environment by reducing the amount of paper we generate, Rm 22 has decided to upload my Powerpoint Presentation from the evening to our blog.

Click on the image to view the Powerpoint.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Young Scientists at Work!

Our class has begun its journey to become the critical thinkers and scientists of tomorrow by learning all about the scientific process.

Science is much more than a collection of facts - it is a METHOD, a way of systematically finding out how the world works, using valid evidence and rigorous processes.

We posed a simple question - does the shape of a parachute canopy affect its effectiveness in slowing down a weight? Specifically - will a circular parachute slow down a falling weight more than a square weight?

As this is a scientific investigation, we had to think about how to make our results valid and fair. We had to isolate our independent variable and control as many other variables as possible, including:

  • The area of each parachute
  • The type of material
  • The number and position of the strings
  • The weight representing a 'person'
  • The height dropped from
As you can see from our photos, the students were very engaged and excited. We have yet to complete the investigation but will let you know our results!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Week Two Update!

Hi everyone!

Well, our school year has gotten off to a great start. Our newest class members have settled in very well and are already producing work that is of high quality.

We have had virtually everyone competing their homework on time and I am very impressed with the 'Big MAC' work ethic.

A reminder - we have our 'Aussie Day' dress up and fund raising day this Friday the 14th. Students are encouraged to dress up in anything and everything Australian, to celebrate this great land of ours. We are also asking students to bring along a donation, which will go towards a charity supporting the victims of the recent bush fires.

Carl Sanderson

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Welcome to 2020!

Hello, and welcome to our new school year!

I hope you have all had a fantastic holiday. I spent my time reading books, watching old science fiction movies, gardening, walking around the Perth bridges in a vain attempt to improve my fitness, and catching up with friends. It was also nice to sleep in.

But now...back to work!

I am very excited about the new school year and have been planning a range of rich, interesting and challenging learning activities for the students. 

Our first school day went very smoothly and I am very impressed with how well our new MAC students coped with everything. We will be holding a parent information evening in Week 3, on Tuesday the 18th of February (time TBD), where I will explain the various structures and processes of the MAC class, and answer all your burning questions.

For all our new MAC parents, homework can be found on this blog, under the 'Homework' Tab. From next week, I will place a weekly homework planner in that section, so the students can see what needs to be done and manage their time effectively. 

I know this will be a fantastic year.

Carl Sanderson

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Next Australian Master Chefs?

Monday afternoon was a great time to be in Rm 22...we all enjoyed a delicious sampling of freshly baked scones, with a dollop of jam and cream for good measure!

How did this all come about I hear you ask?

It is, of course, a well known fact that the parents of Rm 22 students are a multi-talented, brilliant bunch. One of them - Mrs Maria Kelly, very bravely volunteered to run some cooking classes for our students. This pleased Mr Sanderson very much, because:
A) it is a valuable skill that all children should learn....and they most CERTAINLY will not learn it from him
B) He will get to eat some of the delicious stuff made!

So, with a firm, courageous tone, he gave permission for Mrs Kelly to go ahead, and Monday was the first day. We selected 6 intrepid students to be in the first group: Tayla, Samara, Georgia, Trinity, Emilio and Francis. They were then given expert tutelage in the craft of preparing the perfect scone.

Once made, they were then scoffed down by the hungry crew of Rm 22. They did an excellent job and the results were delicious.

A HUGE thank you to Ms Kelly for her great work. Next week, another six students will get to make Irish soda bread.

Mr S can't wait!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Great Debate!

Last week, the students from Rm 22 battled it out in the 'Great Debate' of 2019!

Since the latter half of Term One, we had been learning how to draft and argument and then present it to an audience in a bid to convince them that our position was right.

We had to also learn the rules of debating. It turns out that there is a very strict order in which arguments must be presented, and that it is a very formal process. We had to learn the roles of the first, second and third speakers, as well as the role of chairperson and timekeeper. 

Mr S randomly assigned us to teams of three, which were made up of students from Yr 4 - 6. We were then given a topic and a position which we had to argue. This was quite difficult, as sometimes, we didn't agree with the position that we were assigned, but Mr S told us that that was all part of team debating - you had to go with the position you were given!

The topics were really interesting and required a lot of research and thought:

Parents should be able to ‘choose’ and alter the genes of their babies, to make them smarter, healthier, prettier!
Spending money on space exploration is a waste of money...there are more important things to spend money on!
Playing video games are bad for children.
AI and robots will one day take over the world and doom the human race!
Scientific testing on animals is justified as it benefits humans.

Our job was to then go and research arguments to support our position, and then write a script that would win over the audience. It is not as easy as you might think! Each speaker is allowed four minutes to speak, so we also had to practise our speeches aloud, and time them. In addition, Mr S told us that public speaking is 50% the words on the page and 50% how you 'sell' it to your audience, with expression, pausing, eye contact and strong body language.

All our hard work led to the 'Great Debate', which was held last Friday the 16th of August. We had invited parents, relatives and staff to come and watch us battle it out. Various teachers and guests were the adjudicators, and they gave us feedback after each contest. Everyone had a lot of fun and the judges all reported that they were very impressed with us for our incredible efforts.

We look forward to the next one!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Super Science!

Last week, our class had a great time discovering some of the scientific principles that govern whether an object will float or sink.

We started off with a simple enough question: will plasticine float? We tried it out by dropping a ball (slightly larger than a golf ball) into a bucket of water. What happened? It sank like a rock to the bottom!

Mr Sanderson then told us a fact which we all knew, but that we hadn't really thought about before. A lump of steel will (obviously) sink in water, but battleships are made from steel and they float...how can this be?

After some thought, we came up with the idea that it must be the thickness and the shape of the material that determines if it will float or sink. We then broke into pairs, were given a lump of plasticine and told to go and try to make it float. After only a few moments, we worked it out - you had to make the plasticine thin, and mould it into a boat shape. We tried it and voila! We had made our plasticine float!

Mr S then set us a second challenge. He gave us access to a box of 2cm wooden cubes and told us to see how many blocks our boats could hold before they did a 'Titanic' and sank to the depths of the bucket ocean. At first, our mighty vessels would only hold approximately 10 blocks, but then we started to modify our boats by making the walls thinner and the bottom (he called them 'hulls') wider and longer. Before long, we were able to place over 20 blocks on our boats.

Being the competitive souls that we are, we then had a competition to see whose boat could hold the most. Finn and Raymond were locked in a deadly battle with Samara, to earn the title of 'Most Excellent and Brilliant Boat Builder'. In the end, both teams ended up with their boats being able to hold 38 wooden blocks. This beat last year's record of 34, which was held by Alka and Shreya. 

Now for the 'sciency' bit! - Why DO some things float and others don't?

What causes some things to sink and float? Well, it’s all about something called density. Do you know what density means? Well everything around us is made up of tiny molecules. In some objects tiny little objects called molecules are jam packed together, and in others they are loosely packed together.  This is actually what density means. The objects that are jam packed together have a higher density, and the more loosely packed objects aren’t as dense.

Let’s think for a minute about other large objects like a boat, or maybe even an airship. How does this sink and float work? Some boats are massive, and would seem very dense, so how do they stay afloat? Well basically the boat has to push the water aside so that there’s room for it. As it’s so heavy it actually gets pulled down by gravity. But there’s more to this. Now comes buoyancy, which is the opposite of gravity.

But what is buoyancy? Think about what happens when you put an ice cube into a glass of water. As the ice cube moves some of the water to make way for itself, the water level rises and floats partially in and out of the water. Gravity is pulling the ice cube down and the buoyant force is pushing it up. How far in or out of the water your ice cube stays depends on its density, as that is what the pushing and pulling forces are working against.

Easy, right?