Farewell from Mrs S

The new school year has begun. Mrs S has some new roles for 2014 so this blog may be inactive for a while. Ms D and her new teaching partner may wish to add some posts later in the year but for the moment there will be no new posts.

Please head over to visit Mrs S and many of the children who worked on this blog last year at their new blog. So sorry to have to now add that the 5/6 Clark/Smith blog is no longer accessible but you may find some of the post by using the WayBack Machine.

5/6 CS Blogs

Thanks very much to our blogging friends who have visited, left comments and supported our class in their blogging journey.

Looking at Perimeter

In Maths we have been working on our understanding of perimeter. We used pattern blocks to explore perimeter with informal units of measurement and then used an interactive with our IWB to find out more about calculating the perimeter of rectangles and triangles.

Perimeter is the distance around the outside of a closed shape. We can measure the perimeter of a shape using many things but need to make sure that the unit of measurement stays the same.

We found out that different shapes can have the same perimeter. Watch our Animoto to see some of our work.

What things in this world do we need to know the perimeter of? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Working Together to Create a Story

We have been working on our writing and Mrs S has challenged us to write some 100 word stories using prompts from a great blog. After we had written a couple of 100 word stories Mrs S told us that some children at UPPS would like to collaborate on some 100 word stories with us. We were asked to write the beginnings of the stories which were then sent off to Miss Crowther and the children in 5/6 JC. They were given the challenge of finishing our stories for us.

Our Stories

Last week Mrs S received an email from Miss Crowther with our finished stories attached. It was very interesting to see how our stories ended. Many of us were surprised by the very inventive endings that were written and we all agreed that the endings were definitely different to the ones we had thought of whilst writing the beginnings. We have illustrated our stories and they will be on our class walls for us to read. We have also added a picture link to a Google Document that has all the stories in it for us to share with our blog readers.

Have you ever shared the writing of a story? What was harder – creating the start and sending it away or receiving the start and having to create the ending? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts.

Exploring Maths with Tangrams

The tangram is a Chinese puzzle with seven geometric pieces that fit together to make a square. No one is really certain as to who first created this puzzle but the earliest book of tangram puzzles was published in China in 1813. The seven pieces can be rearranged to create many patterns.

Our class looked closely at tangrams at the end of third term. We used a table to record our observations about creating 2D shapes with the tangram puzzle pieces. We tried to make a square, triangle and a rectangle using 1, 2, 3 or 4 puzzle pieces. For some of these challenges there was more than one way to create the shape.

We measured the edges of our puzzle pieces and compared the different measurements. From these measurements we were able to calculate the perimeter of each shape.

Last of all we created some shapes with our puzzle pieces for others to have a go at making.

Have you used tangrams? Have you tried to remake the square? How long did it take you? What advice would you give someone who had never tried using tangrams before? Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.

On The Lookout for Some New Species.

Over the last month we have been working on creating an information book about a newly discovered alien creature. First of all we created our creatures by using cursive writing and symmetry. Take a look at our drawings. When Mrs S scanned these we were still working on them so some are not finished.

After that Mrs S colour copied our drawings so that we could add a background that showed where our creature lived. We then used a grid to re-draw our aliens so that they were smaller and we used this drawing to make a labelled diagram that show both the size of our creature and the most important features.

We worked hard on some first draft writing that contained lots of detail about our alien, the habitat that it lives in and any other important information. We looked at some information texts to find out what text features would be important to use in our writing. We found out that headings help the reader to find information quickly and that paragraphs have one main idea and some supporting detail. We used technical language to add detail to our writing. Information reports use formal language and are written in the third person. This means we needed to use “the, it and they” instead on “my or mine”. Information texts often include diagrams and maps so we needed to explore some maps before we created our own to add to our books. The Animoto below shows some of our labelled diagrams and maps.

 Would you like to explore far away places and find new things? Where would you go? What would you call an alien species if you discovered one? Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.

Same Sound, Different Meanings, Different Spelling – Homophones

Over the last few weeks we have been talking about and creating lists of homophones. These very tricky words can trap us when we are writing because they sound the same but have different meanings and are spelt differently.

One of the ways we try to spell words that we might not be sure about is to listen for the sounds we hear. It can be very useful for lots of words but not for homophones. With homophones we need to know the meaning of each word so that we are able to use the right word for the sentence we are writing.


The more we looked the more homophones we found. Some jokes and riddles use homophones and Mrs S shared some of these from a book called Eight Ate written by Marvin Terban.

Please leave a comment sharing a sentence using homophones. Which homophone tricks you the most? How do you try to remember it? Do you know any riddles that use homophones to share with us?

Pattern Block Families – The Challenge

We enjoyed creating Pattern Block Man so much that Mrs S gave us one last challenge. Watch our video to see the challenge we faced.

After we had created our families and double checked the ages we had some time left to create more things. It was sad when the recess bell went and we had to pack up all the pattern blocks and put them away.

What would you make with the blocks? What did you think of our families? How could we change the age of the people in our families? Please leave a comment with your ideas and suggestions.

Exploring Maths with Pattern Blocks

pattern block manWe have been using pattern blocks to explore angles, parallel lines, to create symmetrical patterns and to solve some number problems. A pattern block set contains triangles, hexagons, squares, two different rhombi and trapeziums.

This week we created pattern block people and Mrs S challenged us to work out their age. The clue she gave us was:

question - resized

We then made lots of pattern block people and had some fun searching the room for the oldest and youngest people created. Take a look at all our people and see if you agree with the ages that we have calculated.

We had one small problem. Mrs S forgot to tell us to put away the tan rhombi and the orange square. It is harder to calculate the age of our people if we use these shapes. One person used a square and some of us wanted to use the tan rhombus for hair or feet. At first we thought that one tan rhombus was equal to one green triangle. When we used an online pattern block site we found that this was not quite true. Instead of giving up trying to work out the age of the pattern block people that contain these shapes we learnt to use a new maths symbol. Mathematicians use this symbol show that something is not quite equal.

approx equal to

What will happen if we use too many tan rhombi in creating a pattern block person? Did you spot the one person who created something for their pattern block person to use? What was it? If Mrs S changed the value of the red trapezium to 6 what would be the value of a green triangle? Please leave a comment telling us your thoughts.

Looking at Text Types

We have been talking about and comparing text types. All texts are different and an author will choose different types depending on the purpose of their writing.

Some texts are persuasive. The author of the text would like to influence your thinking. Some examples of persuasive texts are expositions, letters to the editor, advertisements, reviews and online forum discussions.

Image from Live to Learn;Learn to Teach

Some texts are informative. The author of the text would like to teach or explain to their reader. Informative texts do not try to influence the reader but just provide information. We use the word non-fiction to help describe these text types. Some examples of informative texts are recounts, newspaper articles, reports, encyclopaedia entries, instruction manuals and descriptions.

Image from Live to Learn;Learn to Teach

Some texts are imaginative. The author of the text would like to entertain their reader. Another word we use to describe imaginative texts is fiction. These texts use made-up characters and events and can also involve magical ideas such as talking animals. They can be based on real life events and people.

Image from Live to Learn; Learn to Teach

Sometimes an author might use the style of an informative text with a topic that is not real. Our class are working on informative texts but we are using an imaginary creature as the topic for our report.

What do you think is an important feature of an informative text? How might it be set out? What grammatical features will we need to use? Please leave a comment to tell us some of the things we will need to remember when we are writing an information report.

Drawing from Partial Descriptions

We have been talking, reading and finding out about the Solar System.  Our class worked with Ms D to created a display in our room showing the planets in our solar system. It is not to scale and we did some research to let visitors coming into our room know about the large sizes and distances that we could not show on our wall.


At the other end of the display we let our imaginations go wild with a space battle. The wall gradually became full of spacecraft of all shapes and sizes. The picture here shows some of these.


Mrs S found a drawing challenge for us that tied in with our imaginative work on our space battle. She found some partial descriptions of some aliens and gave us the opportunity to draw an alien that was based on the details we were given. We were able to add extra ideas but we had to include all the parts that were listed.  Each group received three small squares. One had details about the head, one was about the body and arms and the last one gave details about the legs and feet. Some of our artists ran out of time. Their drawings may not be finished and we ask you to bear that in mind when adding comments.

Follow the picture links below to see each set of drawings. Each link will take you to a padlet where you will be able to look at our drawings and double click to add a sticky note. Can you spot the things that are the same about each drawing? What about the things that are different?

Group 1

Group 1

Group 2

Group 2

Group 3

Group 3

Group 4

Group 4

Group 5

Group 5

Group 6

Group 6

After looking at all the drawings Mrs S wondered why we often draw aliens that look so different. If there is life elsewhere in our very large universe might that life be similar to ours or very different?

Please leave a comment on this blog post telling us about your ideas. Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? What might it be like?