Maths Inquiry: cross-sections of 3D objects

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We have recently been exploring and describing 3D objects.  Last week, we made pyramids from playdough and cut up edible cylinders and rectangular prisms from real life to investigate their cross-sections.  Here are some boys reflecting on their learning:

Last week we were doing some maths on 3D shapes when we cut them up in different ways. Instead of plastic toys we used lamingtons, playdough and jam rolls. Wed discovered that when we cut a rectangular prism in half it looks like a square or a rectangle on the inside depending on how you cut it. After we ate the jam rolls and the lamingtons but not the playdough.


When we made shapes out of playdough, we cut the playdough, lamingtons and jam rolls. In the playdough we made lots of different 3D shapes and cut them.


UoI: buildings in the sand

Over the past few weeks we have been analysing the designs of buildings and deciding which materials and design features make buildings appropriate for their environment.  After analysing the image below, the boys had their own turn at designing and building a house on the sand using a variety of available materials.

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The boys designed some amazing buildings, but the biggest surprise was still to come.  Sneaky Miss Rusten poured a little water into each of the sand tubs to simulate the tide coming in on a real beach.  Which buildings do you think survived the high tide test?


A platform on stilts: the creation of Stylianos, James and Ted


A cosy beach hut with a pool: the creation of Hamish, Marcus and Jacob


Design features include rain catchers and a decorative fence: this creation is by Freddie, Will and Nishi


An underground cave: this one is by Gabe, Max and Toby


Plastic bowls as a waterproof roof: This design is brought to you by Rish, Jamie and Connor


A metal house raised off the beach by stilts and a decorative second story: this design is by Alex, Lachlan and Morgan


Sturdy wooden foundations and a decorative fence: this creation is by: Tristan, Harry and Kelvin


While this was a very fun, albeit messy, learning experience their reflection showed me that they learned an enormous amount from this task.  Some boys’ testimonials are below:

Last week we built some houses in the sand. My group was Harry, Kelvin and I. Our house had straws and sticks around the side. Our house looked pretty weird. I had fun.


We were building houses on sand, mini houses. I made it out of wood, plastic and wooden planks. And don’t forget metal, the strongest material of all. My favourite part was building the house.


Mid-Autumn Festival

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Monday the 8th of September was Newington’s first ever Chinese Day in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The boys learned about the stories and traditions behind the Mid-Autumn Festival. They participated in a range of activities themed around Chinese culture and even had Chinese food for lunch! As you can see from their writing, this day was a hit!

On Mandarin Day we had some Chinese Lion actors come to school. First they did the play. It was very long, loud, funny and interesting. The musicians played big drums that were very loud. After they taught us how to do the dance. It was awesome. I really enjoyed it.

At Mid-Autumn Festival they did a big dance with a lion . Woah, woah woah! Do you think it’s a real lion? No way! It’s kind of like the Chinese Dragon but a lot shorter. It is pretty cool. It went close to me… really close! It was golden. It was awesome when he opened his mouth, you could see the person inside. He came from China. There was so much noise it went on for pretty long. I enjoyed it a lot, it was cool. I have never seen such a thing in my life.

On the 8th of September, we celebrated the Mid-Autumn festival. First we had a costume parade but there were hardly any boys in year 2 wearing costumes. Then we did Tai Chi. Everyone in year 2 knows Tai Chi because everyone does it when they are naughty in Mandarin classes.

In the morning year 2 had chopstick races. After that we made small lanterns. Next we learnt some martial arts from Master Sensei Rusten. Then after recess the school saw a dragon dance.

On Monday it was the Mid-Autumn Festival. I dressed up in a Chinese Costume. Max, Alex and I were the only ones dressed up in the whole class. Miss Rusten put chopsticks in her hair. We had a lion dance after recess. It was so, so, so, so, so cool. They have an orange dragon and a green one. It was awesome. At lunch we had fried rice.I didn’t eat all of the rice. When I went home the rice in my bag exploded everywhere so mu had to clean up my bag. My favourite part was the lion dance.

Last week was the Mid-Autumn festival. We saw the lion dance. The people controlling the lion terrified some teachers and they ran away. It did tricks and even jumped. I liked the show.

Last Monday it was the Mid-Autumn Festival. On Monday we did a whole bunch of activities. My favourite activity was chopstick races. I did not win but I still had fun.

On Monday we had the Mid-Autumn Festival. First we did Tai-Chi, Then the lion dance. We also did chopstick races and made lanterns.

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Unit of Inquiry- Buildings

We have recently started a new unit of inquiry around the central idea “The design of buildings and structures is dependent on the physical environment and availability of materials.” We started off with a visit from an architect and a building challenge using bush materials.

Here is what the boys have to say:

Our unit of inquiry is about buildings. Last week, my class investigated materials. I came up with canvas, aluminium, wood, wool, bricks, metal, plastic and fabric. -Ted

On Wednesday an architect came to talk to us about our unit of inquiry. Our unit of inquiry is about materials. He was talking about buildings and the materials he uses. -Freddie

Now we are doing a unit about buildings. There was a man who came to the library and he talked about architecture and how you build houses. An example is a bird’s nest, they make it in a pile of sticks with some eggs in it. He showed us the Maritime Museum and how it was built and he told us how they got big boats in there. He showed us how o build houses. Jamie and I designed a tree house on a tropical island. -Toby

We started the new unit of inquiry on Wednesday last week. The first thing we did was build a shelter for a little lego figure because we were pretending he got lost in the bush. -Max


Rish, Max and Ted’s shelter

On Wednesday we built houses with sticks. First, I came up with the idea to make as many sticks as possible touch each other on the top and tie it together with string. Then, we coated it with bark. Next, we put a bridge that connected two houses. Lastly, we decorated it with something to measure the wind direction. We really liked our house! -Alex


Alex, Nishi and Nick’s shelter

For our unit of inquiry we made dirt houses. We built a shelter which was camouflaging and it was flat too. We had lots of fun. -Stylianos


Gabe, Will, Stylianos and Toby’s shelter

On Wednesday we started a new unit of inquiry all about buildings. I love the new unit of inquiry, we even built houses for a little lego man. We had lots of fun. In my opinion this is the best unit of inquiry ever! -Marcus


Marcus, Hamish, James and Jacob’s shelter


Tristan, Morgan, Kelvin and Connor’s shelter: side view


Tristan, Morgan, Kelvin and Connor’s shelter: front view


Harry, Jamie and Freddie’s shelter