Nay Fuller & Robyn Meier
The Level Five students are engaged in a variety of learning tasks during the beginning of Term One, requiring them to set expectations, think deeply and reflect on themselves as readers. Over the year, students will learn new reading strategies, develop and expand on prior knowledge and work towards becoming more independent learners. Our reading program emphasises the importance of comprehension together with accuracy, fluency and expanding vocabulary. We explore a range of reading strategies including predicting, inferring, questioning, reading with expression and making connections. Students also explore the structures, elements and techniques used in mentor texts which will support them in constructing their own texts across a range of genres. Most importantly, students will develop personalised reading goals that will enhance their individual growth.
In Writing, students are reintroduced to our Whole School Approach to Writing which involves the development of a Writer’s Notebook. In their Writer’s Notebooks, students will collect ideas and practise writing strategies, just like real authors. The writing strategies we develop follow the ‘Six Traits Writing’ model, which at Hughesdale Primary we refer to using the acronym VOICES.
V = Voice O = Organisation I = Ideas C = Conventions E = Excellent Word Choice S =
VOICES is a systematic approach for looking at writing part by part. As writing is a complex skill, this approach can help students break down the task and understand its components more readily. During writing lessons, the teacher models and supports students to develop skills in the six areas of VOICES. We use this model and the Writer’s Notebook to create relevant and authentic learning tasks encouraging students to be lifelong learners with a passion for writing. To ensure students achieve this, they regularly conference with their teacher to discuss their writing and develop personalised writing goals.
Students are given many opportunities to increase their Speaking and Listening skills throughout Level 5. The start of the school year is on building relationships, routines, and students practising their communication skills by getting to know their teachers and classmates. They will also have opportunities to present in a formal manner during presentations, class discussions and class reflections, and engage in critical debates on relevant issues and scenarios.
In Mathematics, Level 5 students address all three standards of the Victorian Curriculum; Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability.
Each topic covered is taught through the lens of the four mathematical thinking proficiencies (Solving problems, Understanding, Reasoning and Fluency) in order to develop the whole learner and allow for deeper application of mathematical skills across all concepts. You may hear the students referring to ‘SURF’ – this is an acronym that supports students’ understanding of each proficiency in a similar way to VOICES.
S = Solving Problems U = Understanding R = Reasoning F = Fluency
Students will develop personalised mathematics goals based on one of the proficiencies to enhance their individual growth.
Understanding refers to students building a robust knowledge of adaptable and transferable mathematical concepts and structures. Students make connections between related concepts and progressively apply the familiar to develop new ideas. They develop an understanding of the relationship between the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of mathematics.
Fluency describes students developing skills in choosing appropriate procedures, carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently and appropriately, and recalling factual knowledge and concepts readily.
Problem-solving is the ability of students to make choices, interpret, formulate, model and investigate problem situations, and communicate solutions effectively.
Reasoning refers to students developing an increasingly sophisticated capacity for logical, statistical and probabilistic thinking and actions, such as conjecturing, hypothesising, analysing, proving, evaluating, explaining, inferring, justifying, refuting, abstracting and generalising.
Cross-curricular learning incorporates Science, Humanities (History, Geography and Economics), Civics and Citizenship, Business and Economics, and Health. For each topic covered, the students will be exposed to a range of content and associated activities that enable them to develop their understandings. Following on from the initial “front loading’ stage, students articulate their topic related wonderings and condense these into a personalised inquiry statement or question. Research skills are then applied to these personalised lines of inquiry. The emphasis is on students becoming increasingly aware of the depth of thinking that they are applying to their learning within curriculum specific cross-curricular topics.
Level 5 students will utilise the 1-to-1 Laptop program in order to extend and enrich their learning. The ICT User Agreement will ensure that the students use their laptops responsibly. Students learn about digital citizenship and their responsibilities in cyber safety. They use their laptops in a range of exciting ways in order to keep up with the constantly evolving landscape of information, communication and technology. Students share and publish their learning using online resources such as Google Drive, Google Classroom and Scratch. They also participate in the global community by accessing digital resources from around the world under the guidance of their teachers.